You’ve probably seen high view counts on youtube videos that you think are fake. But how do you know? YouTube meticulously tracks viewing to provide users and creators with an accurate view count. It also avoids bot views by monitoring accounts that seem suspicious. However, view counts can vary between the video watch page, search page, and analytics. How Views Are Counted Generally speaking, a view is counted once someone clicks play on your video or reaches the end of the ad. Views are not counted for videos embedded on websites or social media platforms, autoplay or scripted plays (for example, a video that automatically starts playing on your homepage). If someone watches multiple videos in a row without watching any of the previous videos, it’s likely they are a bot trying to artificially inflate the views count. This is why YouTube’s system has been designed to screen for views from bots, not humans. Sometimes a video’s view count will appear stuck at a certain number for a while. This is when YouTube employees manually check the legitimacy of the views to ensure that they are real. Once the views are verified, they will begin to move again. Repeat views can also count toward a video’s overall view counts, but they need to be done in a way that seems natural and not spammy. Getting Views The number of views a video has on YouTube depends on many factors, including how engaging the content is and whether it’s shared in the right places. It can also take time for new channels to build significant viewership. Some may see a rapid increase in views within a few months, while others might experience more gradual growth over years. To improve your odds of getting more YouTube views, optimize your videos and channel by ensuring that video file names and titles are descriptive and relevant. You should also include keywords in the description of each video to help users find your content online. Another way to get more views is to create playlists that contain related videos on the same topic. However, be careful not to overdo it; too many playlists can confuse your viewers and make them less likely to watch your videos. You can also try posting your videos on Q&A websites like Quora and Reddit to drive unique traffic to your content. Excluding Bot Views YouTube doesn’t want marketers to artificially inflate their view counts. They have a few rules in place to detect spam views and remove them from the count. First, a viewer must actively click the play button to qualify as a view. This excludes videos embedded on websites that automatically start playing (how annoying is that?!). It also excludes repeated viewing from the same user account or IP address within a short time frame. Additionally, it excludes viewers who have a history of spamming comments on YouTube videos. Additionally, hammering the F5 button over and over to try to increase your view count isn’t going to fly with YouTube either. They’ll see it as an attempt to manipulate the system and may freeze or decrease your view count until they evaluate it. They’ll also keep an eye out for accounts that jump between videos on YouTube without navigating through recommendations, search, or their watch page URLs. Excluding Repeat Views When a business wants to see its videos succeed, the number of YouTube views is an important factor. However, this metric can be misleading, as many views are not real. To ensure that video viewers are legitimate, YouTube has set several criteria for a view count. Firstly, the user must physically click on a video to watch it. This means that videos embedded on websites, autoplay, or those played from a playlist are not eligible for views. In addition, YouTube excludes repeated views from the same account in a short timeframe, as it can indicate a view bot is being used to skew the results. While this may seem limiting, it helps to ensure that the view count is only increasing as the video gains popularity. Moreover, this allows businesses to see the actual progress of their video content. Brands can also monitor their videos’ view counts more closely through the Realtime Activity metric in analytics.