YouTube is sooo frustrating and yet so awesome! I got serious about developing my channel, Let's Talk Money, just 20 months ago, and it's already doubled my monthly income. Videos reach over 350,000 people a month, and the channel has grown to more than 112,000 subscribers.
But the euphoric high from that growth is tempered by tragic lows when video views drop for no apparent reason. Anyone creating videos on YouTube for over a few months knows the agony of seeing a video that was doing great…suddenly die and get no love.
Worse still is the feeling of helplessness, that there is nothing you can do and you're constantly at the mercy of the YouTube algorithm.
Like the Greek's fear of arrogant and vengeful gods, are YouTube creators forever powerless to accept the waves of excitement and despair…or is there something you can do about it?
Knowing what to do when your video views drop is a matter of understanding how YouTube works, three reasons why views might be dropping, and your options to get more views.
Why Did My YouTube Video Stop Getting Views
Your new videos will get most of their views within the first 72 hours on YouTube. That's the amount of time YouTube actively promotes new videos, pushing them to the top of the search, suggested, and browse.
For the few videos that take off, that get hundreds and thousands of views every day, that's more the algorithm than the platform's freshness factor. The biggest waves in rising and falling views come from the freshness factor.
It's also where the biggest heartbreak comes when that one video, the one driving a third of your channel views and subscribers, suddenly drops thousands of views per day.
One reason for suddenly dropping views is that new videos push your winners out for a few days. If your older video is getting a lot of views from Browse on viewers' home page, then any new videos that YouTube promotes will compete for those views.
I notice this weekly with my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posting schedule. Views to my top three videos will trail off a little if my newer videos do well. By Sunday, though, or if new videos were less successful than average, the momentum would be back on older videos because their homepage views will start coming back.
Seeing the views drop on your top videos can be stressful, but it's not an issue when it happens for this reason. The YouTube algorithm is still working on those older videos and will keep promoting them when newer videos phase out.
The best thing you can do when this happens is keep producing videos related to your top-performing ones on the platform.
When you create related videos for your winners, you connect them through suggested videos. This relevancy helps to reinvigorate the old videos and give the new ones a chance for greater longevity.
This idea of video hacking and running with your winners is something I talk about in a free webinar on how to grow your YouTube channel. I detail the strategy I used to grow from zero to over 75,000 subscribers in less than 18 months and how to make more money on your channel.
The webinar is free, but the platform limits space, so make sure you reserve your seat. Click here and sign up to reserve your spot.
How the YouTube Algorithm Works for Decreasing Views
Another reason video views might decrease is that the algorithm constantly learns how to deliver the video to different audiences.
YouTube is constantly analyzing the click-through rate and traffic on your videos. It's learning which audiences respond best to impressions and which stay on the video longer.
But it's not always a fluid learning process. Sometimes YouTube tests your video on a new audience…and doesn't get the positive signals it needs to keep delivering it. The group doesn't click through or quickly clicks back out. When this happens, the algorithm will often take a breather from testing the video with new groups.
Part of this is out of your control, and you have to get used to the waves in video views. You can't control the YouTube algorithm or how it tests your videos with groups.
You can do things to support the algorithm and help it find the right audiences for your videos.
- Always upload your videos with at least a few paragraphs of description. Your description should include your main keyword as well as related phrases. Describe the content with as much detail as possible to tell YouTube precisely what it's about and who will benefit by watching.
- Provide captioning for your videos. YouTube does this automatically, but it's not perfect, and providing your captions will always be better. These caption files are indexed by Google and help your video get found in Google Search.
- Create titles and thumbnails that are accurate to the video theme. Promising one thing in your title and thumbnail but failing to deliver on the promise through your content will result in low view duration and falling out of the algorithm.
How to Know When Your YouTube Channel is Being Penalized
The third reason views might drop on your channel or specific videos are more severe. This penalty is when the algorithm punishes your video or whole channel for something or when the meta details change on your video.
This change is usually evident because your video or channel views will drop to almost zero immediately. In the other instances of falling views, it's much more of a gradual decline, but when your channel gets hit by an algorithm change… you'll know it.
These types of video view drops are extremely rare, but they do happen. You can check Tubefilter and YouTube groups on Facebook to see if anyone else is experiencing the same thing. Most of the time, it's an algorithm change affecting an entire niche of creators.
If you don't find any information from creator groups, you can contact YouTube support though they aren't always able to talk in detail about algorithm changes. If you've had copyright or community strikes against your channel, that could also be a factor.
Often these types of a sudden drop in views will reset within a couple of days. YouTube's algorithm is constantly changing, and sometimes an update will have unintended consequences. When many channels in the same niche get pushed out of views, YouTube is usually quick to fix the problem.
The best way to avoid losing views on your YouTube channel is to produce new, high-quality videos constantly. This depth of content will make it, so no single video contributes an overwhelming portion of your views and doesn't destroy the channel if it falls out of favor.
Learning how to create those videos you know will be popular, and doing that consistently, is the best and only way to grow a successful channel.
Don't forget to reserve your spot for the Mastering YouTube webinar. In it, I detail three strategies I used to grow my channel to over 75,000 subscribers in less than 18 months and my favorite income sources.
Reserve your spot on the webinar here.
YouTube views decreasing is a constant threat for creators, and some of it is just something you have to get used to if you're going to have a channel. It's essential, though, to recognize the different reasons YouTube views drop and distinguish between the things you can control and those you cannot.
About the Author
Joseph Hogue is a financial expert and investment analyst. After serving in the Marine Corps, he started his career investing in real estate before becoming an investment analyst for some of the largest private investors. He's appeared on Bloomberg and on CNBC as an investment expert and has published ten books in personal finance. Now he helps investors reach their financial goals and invest in the stock market with some of the same advice he used when working for the rich.