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YouTube Question To unlist – or not to unlist – that is my question!

blackbeltsecrets

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Hey guys, this is something that has been bugging me for some time now so I would be grateful for your views and, ideally, experience!

I have a number of videos that either didn't do so well historically or, and there are more of these, videos that are more recent but didn't get the same traction as my old videos.

For context, my most popular video has almost 4,000,000 views, several videos have between 100 - 200,000 views, and the majority had something in the region of 10 - 20,000 views.

In comparison, some of my less popular videos have Only 200 to 500 views. I have seen lots of discussions as to whether poorly performing videos can harm your channel But the views on this seem to be mixed; some suggesting that poor videos won't harm your channel as the next video might spark much better engagement, as against some views that suggest YouTube will stop promoting your channel because of these less popular videos.

The less popular videos tend to be blog style videos or "off-topic", which I accept may get a significantly lower interest than my traditional style of videos, but were something that I wanted to move into – maybe it will just take some time to build a new audience for these?

The question is, do I leave these [low view count] videos public, given that they only have a few hundred views or do I unlist them and focus solely on my traditional type of content?

I guess it is the Typical struggle between content that I want to produce versus content that my view was originally subscribed for. Coupled with this is the debate over whether a mixed channel can succeed – again there seem to be mixed views with the more authoritative consensus being that mixed channels will not succeed; my difficulty with this is that there are a significant number of successful channels which can only really be described as a mixed or general vlogging channel.

Anyway, thank you for your time if you have made it this far and I would be very grateful for your views.

Best wishes

Daniel
 

InspirationalbyMarie

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I wouldn't unlist them but then I have a very small channel and I suppose it would be noticeable. What about simply creating a separate playlist for them. Either way, I really don't think it would affect you because of the volume of subscribers you have. (my humble opinion)
 

Growing Up Walls

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Do you like the videos that aren't getting a lot of views? If you like them, I'd keep them.

You mentioned that the less popular videos tend to be a style you were hoping to do more of. Does that mean you'll be moving away from the current videos that are getting more views on your channel? Or you just wanted to add the new style in? Maybe starting a new channel would be a consideration, and moving those with lower views to start that channel, and get a new audience. Some of your current audience may decide they want both.

I think mixed channels can succeed, but I also think there's nothing wrong with, if you have the energy to create the content, creating a second channel for the vlogs you'd like to do.

Good luck!
 
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OP
blackbeltsecrets

blackbeltsecrets

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Do you like the videos that aren't getting a lot of views? If you like them, I'd keep them.

You mentioned that the less popular videos tend to be a style you were hoping to do more of. Does that mean you'll be moving away from the current videos that are getting more views on your channel? Or you just wanted to add the new style in?
Yes, I really enjoy making them and the style, but I accept that not everyone will and it's difficult to ascertain (aside from views!)
Maybe starting a new channel would be a consideration, and moving those with lower views to start that channel, and get a new audience. Some of your current audience may decide they want both.
I've considered that, and did so with law - it's growing but slowly.

I think mixed channels can succeed, but I also think there's nothing wrong with, if you have the energy to create the content, creating a second channel for the vlogs you'd like to do.
Definitely wish for this to be true as I would much prefer keeping all content in one place, but also accept that may not work...

Thanks for your reply!
 

Beanie Draws

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I'm no expert in this regard and I've herd mixed opinions. Some have said "delete them as they're bringing your overall channel down" because technically YouTube takes a look at your most recent video to decide how the next video will perform... if video x performs low, "the next video is statistically likely to perform low as well" so they won't push the next one as hard... that's supposedly how the algorithm works outside of SEO.

Then take into account the fact some videos take weeks, or months, if not YEARS to blow up. How often have you seen the good old "who else is getting this recommended to them this week?" "2018 nope. 2019 nope, 2020 youtube yes" so sometimes it takes an unexpected suggested/recommended to get the ball rolling.

Personally, I'd take a look at the watch time of your best performing videos (the percentage, not the actual hours) and then look at the watch time graph of the lower viewed videos, and if the graph is comparable, then technically those lower viewed videos have the same potential to get views as the best performing videos.

Instead of unlisting, I'd try take one of the lower performing videos that have similar percentage watch time and similar theme/topic, and put that in your pinned comment/end screen to push some of that traffic to the lower video to see if that might help pick up the momentum a bit.

I'd be curious to see what likes of Andrew think of this.
 
OP
OP
blackbeltsecrets

blackbeltsecrets

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I'm no expert in this regard and I've herd mixed opinions. Some have said "delete them as they're bringing your overall channel down" because technically YouTube takes a look at your most recent video to decide how the next video will perform... if video x performs low, "the next video is statistically likely to perform low as well" so they won't push the next one as hard... that's supposedly how the algorithm works outside of SEO.

Then take into account the fact some videos take weeks, or months, if not YEARS to blow up. How often have you seen the good old "who else is getting this recommended to them this week?" "2018 nope. 2019 nope, 2020 youtube yes" so sometimes it takes an unexpected suggested/recommended to get the ball rolling.

Personally, I'd take a look at the watch time of your best performing videos (the percentage, not the actual hours) and then look at the watch time graph of the lower viewed videos, and if the graph is comparable, then technically those lower viewed videos have the same potential to get views as the best performing videos.

Instead of unlisting, I'd try take one of the lower performing videos that have similar percentage watch time and similar theme/topic, and put that in your pinned comment/end screen to push some of that traffic to the lower video to see if that might help pick up the momentum a bit.

I'd be curious to see what likes of Andrew think of this.
Interesting thoughts, thanks. It can be a little frustrating when videos get very few views, but you're right, one video took 2 years to blow up and then got 3mil+ views
 

The Jungle Explorer

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I have a really mixed channel, and yes it is a struggle. My channels has a general theme, but I produce videos in several categories. Last year I did several video reviews of specific seasonal tech products that companies were egging to send me. Most of the videos got low to medium view counts, but one took off great. This year, I had decided that these videos were too much work for the interest they produced on my channel and was not going to do them. But I decided to go over to my YT Community tab and post a poll asking if my subs wanted to see more of these types of videos. To my utter surprise, 92% of the people that responded to the poll said they wanted more of these types of videos.

My suggestion is that you should ask your subscribers about it. You might be surprised. As far as YT's ranking, I don't know. I have gone back and tweaked the SEO of low performing videos and brought some new life into them. I once had a video that did nothing for six months, and then, overnight, it jumped to my most popular video and still is in the top ten after three years.
 
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OP
blackbeltsecrets

blackbeltsecrets

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I have a really mixed channel, and yes it is a struggle. My channels has a general theme, but I produce videos in several categories. Last year I did several video reviews of specific seasonal tech products that companies were egging to send me. Most of the videos got low to medium view counts, but one took off great. This year, I had decided that these videos were too much work for the interest they produced on my channel and was not going to do them. But I decided to go over to my YT Community tab and post a poll asking if my subs wanted to see more of these types of videos. To my utter surprise, 92% of the people that responded to the poll said they wanted more of these types of videos.

My suggestion is that you should ask your subscribers about it. You might be surprised. As far as YT's ranking, I don't know. I have gone back and tweaked the SEO of low performing videos and brought some new life into them. I once had a video that did nothing for six months, and then, overnight, it jumped to my most popular video and still is in the top ten after three years.
Thanks for your input! Yes, it is a struggle with mixed content. Reluctantly, I think I am going to have to keep them separate because it seems to be a reality that videos of a different topic just don't surface or get out to my subscribers! I've already started a new channel for law which is slowly starting to take off - it has to be the long game!
 

Stanley Orchard

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I would keep them... the 'view machine' works a lot better when there is plenty of content for slightly-varying viewers to be able to watch and for YouTube to share out. I get the concern that it may be holding your channel back, but I just can't see YouTube 'punishing' a new video for what you consider to be failed videos (consider how many times we've seen somebody have a non-performing video blow up 1-5 years after it was published).
 

Andrew

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Hey guys, this is something that has been bugging me for some time now so I would be grateful for your views and, ideally, experience!

I have a number of videos that either didn't do so well historically or, and there are more of these, videos that are more recent but didn't get the same traction as my old videos.

For context, my most popular video has almost 4,000,000 views, several videos have between 100 - 200,000 views, and the majority had something in the region of 10 - 20,000 views.

In comparison, some of my less popular videos have Only 200 to 500 views. I have seen lots of discussions as to whether poorly performing videos can harm your channel But the views on this seem to be mixed; some suggesting that poor videos won't harm your channel as the next video might spark much better engagement, as against some views that suggest YouTube will stop promoting your channel because of these less popular videos.

The less popular videos tend to be blog style videos or "off-topic", which I accept may get a significantly lower interest than my traditional style of videos, but were something that I wanted to move into – maybe it will just take some time to build a new audience for these?

The question is, do I leave these [low view count] videos public, given that they only have a few hundred views or do I unlist them and focus solely on my traditional type of content?

I guess it is the Typical struggle between content that I want to produce versus content that my view was originally subscribed for. Coupled with this is the debate over whether a mixed channel can succeed – again there seem to be mixed views with the more authoritative consensus being that mixed channels will not succeed; my difficulty with this is that there are a significant number of successful channels which can only really be described as a mixed or general vlogging channel.

Anyway, thank you for your time if you have made it this far and I would be very grateful for your views.

Best wishes

Daniel
I'd keep them because it can do more harm then good. I wouldn't make no videos in the vain of the old, but maybe try a new style with them. Also keep in mind people come to YT channels for certain reasons so some people won't watch anything you have. Overall it's very important to keep giving people what they came for. I'd leave them, but try new ways to do them that keep to the channels core topic :)
 
OP
OP
blackbeltsecrets

blackbeltsecrets

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Moderator
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blackbeltsecrets.co.uk
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I'd keep them because it can do more harm then good. I wouldn't make no videos in the vain of the old, but maybe try a new style with them. Also keep in mind people come to YT channels for certain reasons so some people won't watch anything you have. Overall it's very important to keep giving people what they came for. I'd leave them, but try new ways to do them that keep to the channels core topic :)
Thanks for your thoughts, Andrew! To clarify, you would leave them live as you feel unlisting can do more harm? I also take your point about not trying to re-create the old videos, which is always tempting!
 

Tanduaydancer

New Member
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Good comments, yes i have a few niches but they are in playlists , i now see what's working and learning more about editing so i will just leave them in their separate playlists. Instead of deleting them ,im new so early days Haha.