Views are one of the most important metrics on YouTube, but what exactly counts as a view? Is a video’s total number of views an accurate indicator of how popular it is or are there hidden factors that can make your videos appear to have fewer views than they actually do?

The first thing to note is that views only count if they’re watched by real people. So if someone watches your video on their laptop at home then moves over to their work computer and watches it again that’s not going to count as another view because they haven’t been actively watching it on purpose.

Another factor that could cause your views to appear lower than they really are is how often a viewer watches your video. If someone is jumping from video to video, excluding recommended videos or search results, and only watching the bare minimum (30 seconds or less) then this can be seen as bot activity. YouTube does have a variety of technical measures in place to try and filter out fake views, but this can sometimes be difficult.

Lastly, YouTube can freeze a video’s view count to verify that it is getting legitimate viewing activity and not a bot. This can happen if the video has reached 300 views and the system needs to investigate. Once the investigation is complete, the video’s view count will start updating more frequently again. This can be a bit frustrating, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that YouTube is counting valid views only. youtube views