YouTube has secret demonetization codes – and we now know what they are! If you’re at all familiar with YouTube in 2017, you have likely heard a lot about demonetization. Since the beginning of the year, YouTube has been in a constant battle with advertisers and its users over monetization. Initially, when the Adpocalypse began back in February 2017, it targeted extremist and racist content. Pewdiepie was in the crosshairs, but, most YouTubers across the site experienced fallout. The result was low revenue for creators as advertisers fled the platform. As YouTube made changes to bring ads back, creators experienced a new problem – demonetization.
The problem is that YouTube keeps demonetization a secret. While videos have a symbol that indicates if a video gets ads or not, many found the system to be largely broken. YouTube attempted to be transparent by updating ad-friendly definitions. Bu, the system remains a mess with an algorithm that demonetizes things at random with no clear reason why. In almost all cases, by manual review, these videos are re-monetized but not until they’ve lost their money making momentum.
What are the Secret Demonization Codes?
Which brings us to today! A Swedish researcher has analyzed the data of over 800,000 videos to determine what a video is being demonetized for. These secret demonetization codes show WHY your video doesn’t generate ad revenue. The codes are as follows:
- 102 – Profanity and Rough Language
- 104 – Sexual Content
- 105 – Tragedy or War
- 109 – Sensational or Shocking Content
- 115 – Sensitive Social Issues
How to Check your Videos for these Codes
The codes themselves aren’t interesting until they can be compared to your video. You can check your own by following these simple steps.
Head to your channels “Limited or No Ads” section of the YouTube Creator Studio. Then click on a video you want to check out.
On the video page, RIGHT click anywhere OUTSIDE the video and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”.
You’ll now see a wall of code, which appears to be random letters, numbers, and words. To find the secret demonetization codes, you need to do a search within that text. On Windows, CTRL + F will usually pull up a search bar for that page. Once you have it up, type in “excluded_ads”.
You’ll then see a variety of numbers. The ones you want to look for are BEFORE the = sign. While it’s not documented what each code is, the five known codes will provide insight. If your video contains any of them, for the first time, you’ll know WHY you get no ads. In the example above, the excluded ad codes are 46, 59, 76 and 102. 102 is the code for Profanity or Rough Language. While I have known the video was demonetized, there was no reason given why that was. This changes everything.
Why is YouTube Keeping these Codes Secret?
Well, here’s where it potentially gets more nefarious. According to the research, which you can view the findings here, videos that get these codes also get suppressed by YouTube. Essentially, YouTube censors these videos from search results and recommended videos. So, if you’re a YouTuber with a huge following – your views are only going to come from your audience if it’s been demonetized. YouTube is going to avoid showing it on the platform. If you somehow manage to drive higher traffic via Reddit/Social, then YouTube may start showing it again. If you’re a small YouTuber who can’t drive millions of views, your video may forever be suppressed.
Strongly recommend checking out this video by the researcher on this data as he goes in deeper on what everything means. But, if you’ve ever wondered WHY a video was demonetized – you can now find out.