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!



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