Impressions & click-through-rate FAQs

Get answers to top questions about impressions and click-through-rate data with the following FAQs.

Why does my video have a high click-through-rate and average view duration but low impressions?

While creators compare against other videos within their channel, YouTube’s systems rank each video against all the other videos a viewer might watch. Even if a video is performing well compared with other videos on your channel, it may be that videos from other channels are performing even better. It’s also common for videos with fewer impressions and views to have higher click-through-rates and average view duration. These higher numbers are because they've been seen by a narrower, more loyal audience. While comparing video performance, keep in mind that the data may be more reflective of the differences in the audiences.

What should I avoid doing with my click-through-rate data?

  • Deciding without enough data. It’s important to look over your click-through-rate after getting a substantial number of impressions. Avoid checking your click-through-rate immediately after uploading.
  • Improving for small changes in click-through-rate. It’s normal to have small variations in click-through-rate, and isn’t cause for immediate action. Improvements might only be helpful if a change in click-through-rate is statistically significant.
  • Testing several thumbnails or titles on the same video. It’s difficult to make sure each video is seen by the same audience. Differences in click-through-rate might be due to traffic sources, rather than the title or thumbnail.

Why do I have more views than impressions?

If a large amount of traffic to your video comes from outside of YouTube, you may have more views than impressions. Not every instance where a viewer sees a video thumbnail will count as an impression and not all views come from thumbnail impressions. Learn what counts as a registered impression.

Why doesn't the click-through-rate metric match my calculations?

Click-through rate is based only on views that come from counted impressions. If you divide the total views on your video by the number of impressions you may not see the same number as the click-through rate. Some views do not originate from thumbnail impressions. 

How do impressions relate to monetization?

If a video is not suitable for a broad audience according to our Community Guidelines, it can limit the number of impressions the video gets. This limitation could also lead to fewer views and less revenue. In addition, if a video is not suitable for most advertisers according to the advertiser-friendly content guidelines, the video may get limited or no ads.

Note: Keep in mind that these suggestions are based on aggregate success rates across YouTube. They do not guarantee any particular outcome for your specific case.

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