This information is no longer relevant. YouTube has changed their functionality where Most Viewed is no longer the default video page. The new default video page is called Most Popular and nobody has quite figured out how it works.
I was responding to a question in the comments section by Fianchetto’s Ghost about statistics on my videos. He was wondering why HotForWords.com wasn’t showing up as a site linking to the current video on YouTube and if watching the video on this website contributed to the overall view count of the video at all or if he should go over to YouTube to watch the video to have his views count. I started to answer the question there, but realized that the answer was too long for a comment. So, here is a little lesson on how YouTube counts things and what they mean.
When you look at one of my videos on YouTube, below the video you will see two tabs, one for Commentary and the other is called Statistics & Data as you can see in the image on the right. You can also see the total video views for the video.
When I first upload a video to YouTube, it takes a while for the statistics to show up.. but eventually they do. The view count first jumps to around 202 and then stops there for a while until it updates again a few hours later. This has something to do with the way YouTube’s servers serve up pages, and that’s how you can end up with 202 views yet have 500 comments, as the comments update in real-time, while view counts update every few hours or so.
Now, the Statistics & Data tab shows honors for the video (updated pretty close to real-time) and if you scroll down, “Sites linking to the video” shows websites that embed my video (like mine), and how many times someone clicks within that video and gets taken to YouTube. It only counts those clicks, but gives you a general idea of what sites are embedding a video. It only shows the top 5 I think, and it takes a little while to update as well.
The views from embedded videos on websites (like mine) ALSO COUNT IN TOTAL VIDEO VIEWS on YouTube. So every time you watch my video on my website you are contributing to the total video view count for that video on YouTube, so don’t worry, your views are being counted whether you watch the video here or over at YouTube.
But, Honors Don’t Count
But, if you watch a video on my website, vs. watching it on YouTube, your views DO NOT count towards contributing to my honors. Honors are what help my videos get pushed to the most viewed pages.
Let me give you an example.
I just took a snapshot from the most viewed page on YouTube for today and you’ll notice the #1 video “Ghost House Underground” has 390,918 views yet the #4 video “John Cleese on Sarah Palin” has 424,269 views.
How can this be??
It’s because a large number of his views are coming from outside of YouTube. You can see that by clicking on the Statistics & Data tab that I mentioned and scrolling down to the bottom.
As you can see, a bunch of websites are embedding his video and he got a bunch of clicks from them. So about 200,000 views are coming from views outside of YouTube, which is contributing to his overall view count, but since those 200,000 views are coming from outside of YouTube, his video is only ranked #4 as they don’t contribute to his honor ranking for the day.
Why do they not count?
Views from outside of YouTube no longer contribute to the honors because people were abusing the system. People would embed their video 200 times on their MySpace page and then tell people to click on their page, thus generating 200 views per person clicking. That happened all the time, but I think what made YouTube change their policy was the Avril Lavigne incident.
Fans of Avril Lavigne set up a website that embedded her video and then told fans of hers to load this page and let it run all day (as it would automatically reload the video every minute or so)… as a result, her video ran to #1 with over 104 MILLION views.. thus displacing the #1 video of that guy dancing.. and people at YouTube got upset as this was obvious manipulation. Her video still ranks #1 as YouTube didn’t catch it in time (most viewed videos on YouTube can be found here), but the result is that views no longer count towards honors on YouTube if those views come from external websites.
So, due to abuse of the system, views from external websites no longer contribute to the honors of a video, but they still count towards the overall view count.
This went into effect a few months ago.
Should we then go to YouTube to watch your videos?
No… just keep doing what you are doing. My videos seem to do pretty well without you guys having to go to YouTube to watch the videos there. The numbers at YouTube are so staggering as it is, that my videos make it to the most viewed pages every time I upload one anyway. I would prefer to have you all just hang out here and have fun as you currently do.
So, Fianchetto’s Ghost, I hope I answered your question and for the rest of you, I hope you found it informative.