Monetization systems or ‘the ads algorithm’ explained

YouTube is a place for people all over the globe to share their stories. More than 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube, 100s of millions of hours are watched each day, and billions of users visit YouTube each month.
To ensure our community is safe for creators, viewers, and advertisers, we created automated systems that help us filter through all the content on YouTube. These systems are sometimes called “the ads algorithm” or “systems.”

How our systems impact monetizing creators

Our systems look at your content and channels in different ways, and at different stages. For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, our monetization systems can impact both your content and your channel.

Impact on content

When you turn on ads for content, our systems scan it in 2 ways:

  • Advertiser-friendly content. Any video that you monetize with ads must meet our advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Our systems check your video, title, thumbnail, description, tags, and the video itself to see if it meets our guidelines. You can see the outcome of this in the form of a monetization icon.
  • Viewer engagement. Our systems will also scan for viewer engagement. This means we look at things like comments, likes, and whether the entire video is watched. We also look at other kinds of content your audience watches. Our systems may then make another monetization assessment that could change your video’s monetization status.

Learn more about monetization icon status changes and what you can do.

Impact on channel

Our systems also check to see if you make consistently accurate monetization decisions on your channel. Remember, you should only turn on ads for videos that meet our advertiser-friendly content guidelines. If you consistently turn on ads for videos that violate our guidelines, our systems may flag your channel. In egregious cases, we may turn off your ability to monetize with ads, or remove you from the YouTube Partner Program.

What you can do about the system

Our systems don’t always get things right. That’s why you can always request a review of your video’s monetization status. When you request a review, a trained policy specialist looks at your content to see if it meets our guidelines. If our reviewer disagrees with our automated system, we will take the reviewer’s decision as final.

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