How advertiser-friendly monetization reviews work

This article is for creators who are part of the YouTube Partner Program. This article is about ad revenue and what goes into a monetization decision. Learn more about the different monetization statuses.

When you turn on ads for a video, our automated systems check to see if it meets our advertiser-friendly content guidelines. If your video doesn’t, you’ll see a yellow monetization icon ( or ) next to that video.

Our systems don’t always get it right. That’s why you can request a review of your video’s monetization status if you get a yellow icon. When you request a review, a policy specialist (a real person, not a machine) looks at that video and makes a monetization decision. The icon’s status won’t change once a review done by a specialist is complete.

When to ask for a review

While every video is different, here are some basic steps you can take:

  1. Check your video against our ad-friendly examples article.
  2. If your video meets all the criteria for where “you can turn on ads for this content,” you can request a review.
  3. Sign in to YouTube and go to the video in your Video Manager.
  4. Click Request review and follow the on-screen instructions. You'll only see this option if your video is eligible for appeal. Once you submit, the text next to the video in Video Manager will update with your review's status.

What reviewers look at

Each piece of content is carefully watched and assessed by our specialists who look at all content related to the video, including:

  • Video content
  • Title
  • Thumbnail
  • Description
  • Tags

How reviewers assess content

Our reviewers then assess the video and related content together as a whole. Each video’s ad suitability can change depending on context. With that in mind, our reviewers are not given a checklist like how many swear words, or levels of violence, or how much controversial content there is in a video. In other words, you may see one video with some swear words in it that gets ads. While a video with no swear words, but includes a sizable, or frequent amount of violent content may not get ads.

Instead of a checklist, reviewers use the advertiser-friendly guidelines paired with the following principles to make a decision:

  • Context
  • Focus
  • Tone
  • Realism
  • Graphicness

The most important principle is context. What’s the intention behind your video — is it to inform and educate or to shock and incite? For example, if it’s to inform and educate, then you should include context in your title, thumbnails, description, and tags. This context helps reviewers make the right monetization decision. Without context, reviewers may not be able to accurately assess your content.

What happens after a review

You can only have a video reviewed once. Once a review is complete, you’ll receive an email with the monetization decision. The reviewer’s decision is final, and the video’s monetization status will no longer change.

Why human reviews are important

The system that applies monetization icons is powered by a learning technology and millions of manual reviews (from appeals), which together help train and improve the system to make the right monetization decisions for each video. The technology compares human reviewer decisions and classifier decisions, and uses this information to improve the accuracy of the system overall.

We’re constantly improving our automated systems, and your reviews help us make more accurate decisions.

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