Why does YouTube stop at 301 views?

Why does a YouTube video sometimes show only 301 views, but have thousands of likes?

I often wondered this, until my friend Hayden, who is an SEO guy, explained to me that YouTube holds the count until they can verify that it’s legit.

Now vlogger numberphile has been able to find out directly from Ted Hamilton, who is a product manager for Google Analytics. His video is below.

If you don’t want to watch the full 10 minute clip, here’s the nuts and bolts:

  • Views are a currency, so YouTube need to make sure they’re legit.
  • 300 was designated as a tipping point for requiring verification.
  • A developer made a wee boo-boo in the code and made it <=300, rather than <300, causing the count to halt at 301.
  • Sometimes extra counts come in at the same time from different servers, halting the count at 302 etc
  • Once bots have been weeded out and the clip isn’t misleading, the counts are allowed to continue as normal.

And there is that little mystery solved!



Google Correlate

The engineers at Google are a pretty amazing bunch of people, and some of the work they’ve been doing in the area of trends mapping is incredible.

They can now track the spread of disease, and predict outbreaks according to Google searches performed in certain areas – check out Google Flu Trends.

Now they’ve launched Google Correlate – an experimental tool that lets us see data relating to various searches over time. It’s like Google Trends, but in reverse.

It’s easier to explain with examples.

Let’s say someone has just googled “divorce” – what did they Google last week? Last month? Last year? Now we can find out. Disclaimer: I may have totally munted these searches, so please feel free to try your own versions.

  • A year before searching divorce, they were looking up new car models, weight loss and “remove odour”
  • A month before, they were googling “quotes about marriage”
  • A week before: medicines – specifically creams to reduce swelling or bruising.

What about “have an affair”?

  • Four months before: World of Warcraft and “Kings of Leon lyrics”.
  • Three months earlier: pregnancy tests, and weed.
  • Two months earlier: “How long does weed stay in your system?”
  • Three weeks earlier: “pay Victoria secret credit card”.
  • The week before: “how to shave public hair”.

How about “I think I’m pregnant”

  • Six weeks before: beer pong.
  • Two weeks before: “how to get over an ex” and “loss of appetite”.
  • The week before: “sore nipples”.

Sorry, honey, but I think you’re pregnant.

So… “abortion”

  • A year before: Religion in schools
  • Six weeks before: school science project ideas
  • Three weeks before: The names of saints
  • The week before: “Christian views” and “political views”

It’s such interesting stuff, and I’m sure many, many gems are going to come out of the woodwork.

Nice stuff Google, you crazy, information-laden big brother!