How Does The Youtube Viewing Algorithm Work?

Referred to by many as one of the most jaw-dropping algorithms of all time, it’s really hard to decode the full dynamics of YouTube’s view count algorithm.

You yourself can run some tests to try to decrypt it.

If you upload a video and set it as unlisted it will not get any public view. This way you can experiment with the algorithm by watching the video for different periods of time and see what is counted.

You will need to use a computer in a different location and make sure the account is not the same as the one used to upload the video. Now, watch the video for about 15 seconds or in any case less than 30 seconds. You will then see that the visit did not add to the count. If you repeat this process on multiple computers in different locations and with different accounts, the result will likely be the same.

However, if you watch it for 30 seconds or more, the count is likely to go up.

We add “probable” here because, while this 30-second rule has been decoded, there are other factors that could contribute to a view’s count, as well as other automated scanning techniques at play.

Try watching the same video multiple times in a single day. At first, the count adds up, but after some time it stops. YouTube knows that many times people play certain videos over and over again when they really like them, and so they have replays into their algorithm as an index of quality. However, to avoid spam views, the counter will stop after a certain point.

Another thing that can affect a view’s count is the account’s behavior before landing on your video page. Sometimes, YouTube may think that there is a greater chance that a particular account is actually a bot, and thus views from that account may not be added.

One way YouTube might flag an account as a potential bot is if it jumps directly between videos without navigating through the recommendations, search engine, or account feed (how do they jump from one URL to another if they’re not clicking on anything YouTube can record?). In addition, if the viewer is watching each of the videos for almost exactly 30 seconds (or less) there is a greater chance that it is not a human but a bot (or a human watching the bare minimum as part of. a view exchange program).

Any bot-like action will cause an account’s views not to be added to the view count.

It’s not uncommon for viewers to watch a video for about five seconds, skip forward a little, and watch for another ten seconds while looking for a specific part. It’s hard to tell whether to skip through a video, but watching it spread out for 30 seconds counts as a view or not.

Sometimes YouTube blocks the view count to verify its accuracy. When the count is unfrozen, it may jump up while views are validated or go down if YouTube detects an issue.

You can use YouTube analytics reports to track an estimate of potential views, but there is no guarantee that this data fully matches the official view count.

You may have seen a lot of videos that have a stagnant count of 301 views. The algorithm behind YouTube’s view counting system believes that any video that has gotten more than 300 views has the ability to influence people’s perceptions of YouTube quality; they don’t want the homepage crowded with artificially popular videos.

For this reason, the view counts are often frozen at 301. YouTube employees then manually check whether the views obtained so far are legitimate or false. Once employees are sure the views are legitimate, the counter is unlocked and an upward swing is seen.

While the view count is frozen, any legitimate view is still counted, only it is not added immediately. Once the YouTube team is sure that the videos are not receiving bogus traffic, the view count will be updated to include the views recorded during the freeze phase. However, YouTube says it will no longer report videos to 301 views.