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What Counts As a View on YouTube? Optimizing YouTube Posts

Originally published   ·  Updated
What Counts As a View on YouTube? Optimizing YouTube Posts

YouTube! This one name has global recognition and has more than 2 billion active users monthly. While the number of users is still measurable, counting the number of videos posted on YouTube is the most tedious task. That being said, it has proved itself as one of the most result-oriented ways to generate lead and create a customer database.

Businesses create videos, post them on YouTube, and educate the prospects about their services. 1.3 billion users use YouTube daily. That means a YouTube video can make 1.3 billion users aware of your market presence.

This is a considerable number. It’s like hitting two birds with a single stone. Because with each view, you not only generate a lead but also earn a profit—no wonder why YouTube’s popularity is ever-growing. However, the contradictory thing here is: what counts as a view on YouTube?

Well, we are going to explain all of this and other related things in this article.

What Counts As a View on YouTube? Basic Guide on YouTube Views

YouTube itself explains how it counts a view. As per YouTube:

A video view is a viewer-initiated intended play of a de-spammed YouTube video. The view should be purely out of the viewer’s choice not moved forwards by the autoplay, scripted play, spam play or playback options

 Youtube will tally it as a counted view, if the video has been played:

  1. By a human and not by a computer.
  2. From a valid YouTube account.
  3. For more than 30 seconds.

The 30-Second Mark

After reading the points mentioned above of what counts as a view on YouTube, you must be thinking why playing videos for a minimum of 30-seconds is essential. There’s actual science behind it.

YouTube has a powerful algorithm working from backstage to count the views on a video. This 30-second mark is required to determine whether the video is worth monetizing or not. Even if you skip a part of the video and then play it, if the total watch time is more than 30 seconds, YouTube’s algorithm will consider it worth monetizing.

Why Are Some Views Not Counted?

Popularly viewed videos on YouTube are kind of indirect marketing, and many businesses/ YouTubers try some deceitful ways to increase video views. Because of such views, the value of YouTube ads comes down and hinders its revenue. 

Later on, YouTube came up with algorithms to detect if a view is genuine. If it is not, it will not be counted as valid, but a fraudulent view. 

Fraudulent Views

Views from unconventional methods are counted as fraudulent views. This comes in different ways, such as buying a huge number of views to generate autoplay and increase their view count artificially. 

Due to fraudulent views, many advertisers faced a challenge as they paid for fake views instead, which increased their CPA.  One such case happened with Marketive, an advertising agency who handles many ad accounts. They noticed that most of the YouTubers tried increasing their views illicitly, which impacted their ad results. Some try viewing video from their and their friends’ accounts while others leave their video on streaming for no reason.

To put a stop on such fraudulence, YouTube has adopted a very stringent policy on what counts as a view and stop abusing the system. Going by this policy, YouTube won’t count a view even if it has played by more than 30 seconds.

Here is what turns any view count into a fraudulent view:

Autoplay Embedded Video on A Website

Some businesses embed promotional videos on their websites that play automatically as soon as a user visits the site. This method is not counted as the idea of a proper view is that the viewer plays the video on their own. 

Videos Reloaded Repeatedly

Some videos are likely to be played again and again in a short interval of time. This is the case with tutorials and educational videos since users have to play a video back to understand the key concept. For a valid view count, the video should be played with a 30-minute time gap. 

Using Spambot On Accounts

Some users set up spambots on their accounts just to increase the number of views of a particular video. This is a promotional gimmick caught by YouTube. Their algorithm understands that if views are made from an account that is rapidly jumping from one video to another, each playing only for 31 seconds and videos are not linked with each other; it belongs to a spambot account and won’t count them.

Buying Third-Party Views

Just like any system, people find ways to make a profit from abusing its structure. Unknown to many, YouTube views are also available for sale. You can hire a third-party service to increase the view count on your video. However, YouTube’s algorithm identifies this method as well and don’t count them. 

Views from malware viruses

While it’s unlikely you’ll get a virus from watching YouTube videos, real danger still exists on the site. Others will trick you into clicking the link to install malicious software on your device. Falling for these traps is easier than you would think. These can lead you to a different page where you have to watch the whole video before you can click away. With YouTubes analytics, these views are not included in the view count.

Other Factors That Affect View Count

Apart from the parameters as mentioned earlier, some criteria lead to a counted or not-counted view on YouTube. Here is a quick overview of them. 


YouTube won’t track your views unless you reach the mark of 300 view count. As soon as you reach the mark of 301, YouTube comes into action and checks it.  This means your video can appear on their homepage, and to ensure your views are valid, a different set of the algorithm takes action.

Frozen View Count

This is not a glitch, and you shouldn’t panic when you don’t see your video reaching more than 301 views. The YouTube database is set up to freeze the view count until their employees manually verify that the views have been appropriately obtained.

Once the view count has been verified, the number of views will release and will begin increasing again. 

Shorter videos

Videos of less than 30 seconds can’t be monetized. So, views will only be counted if they are real. As long as the views don’t come from any of the methods mentioned earlier, YouTube will count it as a legitimate view. 

Skipping Videos

If you are skipping videos, but the total watch time is more than 30 seconds, then it will be counted. Remember, YouTube will only count a video if it hits the 30-second mark. But that doesn’t mean this can be abused as their algorithm can detect if a spam bot is used to generate views. 


Replays are counted. After all, you could be repeating your favorite song over and over again. However, videos with more than 3-4 times of replay, made from the same account, are no longer counted.

How to Optimize YouTube Posts?

By now, you must be well-aware of the power of a YouTube video and what it takes to have a valid view count. Now, it’s time to learn about the ways to optimize your YouTube posts and generate organic and legitimate video view counts. Here is what you should do.

1. Insert Your Keywords

Make sure you are adding the right keywords in your tags, title, and description. It improves your SEO ranking and helps audiences find you quicker.    


Your channel and post title is the first thing that will attract a viewer. So, keep it short and catchy.  The title length shouldn’t increase by 60 characters. 


Every viewer will see your video description, which is around 3-4 lines of text. A well-crafted video description can force the viewers to click on the play button. As it interacts with the viewers before the video, it has to be impressive and interactive. As per Google, the maximum limit for a YouTube description is 1,000 characters. If you exceed the limit, YouTube will cut the extra text automatically.


Add proper tags on your YouTube posts to help the viewer and YouTube understand the kind of content you are creating. 

2. Add Keywords to Your Channels

Keywords help improve your search results. So, you must pick three to four relevant keywords for your channel and add them in the right order and sequence. While you insert the keywords, make sure the flow is natural. Unnecessary keyword stuffing puts off the viewers rather than grabbing a high SEO ranking.

The procedure to follow:

  1. Click on the profile picture of your channel.
  2. In the newly-opened screen, click on ‘channel’ -> ‘Advanced’ from the left pane.
  3. Here, you will fill a section to add channel keywords. Add your keywords separated by commas.

3. Design Your YouTube Channel Home Page

Your YouTube channel is the only way via which you will circulate your videos. So, before you focus on your videos, you must learn to build an impressive YouTube channel. To do so, you must:

Add a profile picture Your profile picture is what will appear everywhere and is like a brand face. Hence, you must pick a clear and good quality image as your profile picture.

Set a channel trailer   Your channel trailer can make or break your YouTube channel as this is the first thing they will encounter after reaching on your channel. Try to create a 2-3 minute long channel trailer explaining what they can expect from your channel and the type of videos you upload. 

Create a video playlist – With a well-organized playlist, you can easily portray your work so far in a sorted manner. Also, with a playlist, viewers can easily find out related videos they like. This creates an organized channel, and newly found viewers can turn into loyal subscribers. 

Include a description on your YouTube About page – Tell the viewers about your YouTube channel and what kind of videos you are going to make for them. 

Hook your customers in the first 30 seconds

As we have already discussed, in order to appear on YouTube’s homepage and grab the viewers’ attention, the first 30 seconds are crucial. You shall leave no stone unturned to grab the viewers’ attention in the first 30 seconds.

Try to keep the initial content catchy and impressive for 30 seconds and keep on doing this throughout the video. Wasting the first 30 seconds in the boring introduction and requesting others to subscribe to the channel may force a viewer to ditch your video as soon as it plays.

YouTube is a powerful platform wherein you can reach to the masses in the most impressive and result yielding manner. However, you should be aware that your YouTube videos should be adequately optimized, free from fraudulent views, and can engage the viewer for more than 30 seconds.

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