A number of YouTube Partners, including this video blogger, have complained of a sudden and dramatic decrease in revenue starting in late December (though Zennie62’s decrease has not been as great as most).
The place for the complaints, the YouTube Partner Forum, is packed with complaints like this one:
Hello I am not a youtube “partner” but my youtube account is monetized and has been getting about 8 to 10k views consistently over the past month. I got 12k views on Sunday, and then the views declined dramatically, to only 200(!!!) per day on Thursday. What gives? I am sure my videos continue to maintain their popularity and there is no reason I can think of for a sudden drop like this!
Again, postings like that one at the YouTube Partner Forum are many. What happened? An unannounced change in the code, or “algorithm,” that determines which videos make the “suggested” video list next to a video you watch on YouTube. In my case, that provision has translated into healthy income as 98 percent of revenue drawn has been from YouTube-page-generated video views. A small change in which video was posted had caused a drop in Zennie62.com income from YouTube videos.
Ok, so at least I’m not going crazy. I spoke to an adwords representative today (I called about my Adwords account, didn’t expect her to know anything about any algorithm changes) and she confirmed to me that there was indeed an algorithmic tweak (she called it a tweak) to the way Youtube suggested videos are selected, and that they were taking more factors into account when selecting them, but that she couldn’t tell me anything further because of confidentiality clauses and whatnot. At least now I know for sure why my video views are down 90% since 12/14.
She did make me feel better by saying that usually when changes like this are made the people that are hit are hit hard, and that it sometimes tends to balance back somewhat over the next few weeks. Now, that’s something I already knew, but it still makes me feel better hearing it from her.
I have to say, I am impressed with Adwords customer support and can only wish that someday Adsense and Youtube will have an even remotely similar level of support. Heck, I’d even be happy with a one week lead time to get a call back from either (if they had a phone number). I realize that Adsense and Youtube just don’t have the manpower to be able to deal with the constant influx of questions and issues to be able to offer phone support at this time (especially with the influx of new monetization accounts coming in), but it would be nice, that’s all.
Anyway, it’s nice to have an answer.
For me, it would be nice if YouTube and Google worked to inform YouTube Partners of such changes before they’re implemented, not after. If YouTube wants video bloggers to build full time businesses, it must makes sure to inform all users of changes that could be harmful to the vlogger’s bottom line.