As has become commonplace for creators who are only just getting used to the last changes, YouTube have once again ‘improved’ their service by introducing new algorithms which are intended to prevent advertiser UNfriendly content from having ads placed before, during and afterwards. This is completely YouTube’s prerogative, it is after all a business which depends on advertisers, and if advertisers cannot guarantee that their content won’t be placed on sexual, violent or other types of controversial content, then they’re naturally going to look elsewhere.

In theory, this change should suit creators and advertisers alike, except as seems to be the trend whenever YouTube make changes, things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as they would have hoped. Across the platform tens of thousands of creators saw their content demonetised, from food reviews to video game let’s plays. If YouTube’s algorithm picks up on something it doesn’t like, in the video title or description, or even within the video itself, then it will swap that green $ to a dreaded yellow $.

How many YouTubers reacted to the demonetisation news

It’s not ALL doom and gloom – if your video gets 1,000 views within 7 days you can select for the video to be manually reviewed and monetisation restored – the trouble is, channels with hundreds of videos are getting hit, which means it is going to take a long time, if at all, for those videos to his that minimum.

So what can creators do to prevent the appearance of the dreaded yellow $? Here are a few tips to ensure you see green –

1. Avoid controversial topics. This can be difficult for channels which cover politics and web culture, but even vloggers and lifestyle channels can be effected. YouTube cannot differentiate between LGBTQ+ videos and pornography, so unfortunately it goes down the guilty until proven innocent route. This means if your video title or description has ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’ within them, then your video is much more likely to be flagged. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding these issues, and YouTube have found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Where possible, avoid terms which could easily be misconstrued in certain contexts.

2. Do not swear. This one is obvious – avoid swearing anywhere in the title, description, and even within the video itself. A lot of creators rely on using certain language, so it may be a tough one to avoid, but advertisers much prefer to place their ads on family friendly content. Yes, those exact same advertisers may have run the exact same ad on this weeks walking dead, but YouTube’s algorithm can’t tell the difference between a piece of terrorist propaganda and a legitimate news story, so if you may want to think about what goes into your videos.

3. Don’t be misleading. If you’re titling your video 10 AMAZING LIFE HACKS but then video is a vlog about your trip to IKEA, then your video will be disliked. Dislikes can lead to future demonetisation, so be careful how you treat your audience. Add as much information to the description as possible. If you’re reviewing a movie, add REVIEW to the title – that way the algorithm won’t think you’re illegally uploading a copy of the movie.

4. Initially set the video to unlisted. This can prevent some videos from being flagged as advertiser unfriendly, but it doesn’t guarantee it.

5. Get yourself ‘whitelisted’. After three successful manual reviews it is believed that YouTube add content creators to a whitelist, which means their content is much less likely to be flagged in future. If you have content which has been flagged, push 3 of your most popular videos to your audience so that they reach the 1,000 views in a week minimum so they can be reviewed. Once all three have been approved you should see a drop off in future videos being flagged.

Unfortunately there is no get out of jail free card when it comes to YouTube demonetisation. The algorithm can catch out any creator, large or small, and until YouTube do something that both creators and advertisers are happy with, the situation will continue to be rocky ground.

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