You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (2023)

You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (1) You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (2)

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Written by: Dexxter Clark

Inthis article I’m gonna take a look at why you should and shouldn’tdelete YouTube videos from your YouTube channel.

Why you shouldn’t delete YouTubevideos

Youmight think thatgain advantage in algorithm by deleting bad videos.
Ifthere are only good videos on a channel, than the algorithm thinksthis is a good channel, right?
Nothow YouTube works.

Thealgorithm doesn’t look at the amount of duds you had on yourchannel, itconcentrates on the videos that viewers respond well to.

Butit is true that momentum of your past videos (which is determined byyour audience) determinesa big part of the promotion of a newly uploaded video.
Meaningthat if you release a couple of good videos in a row, the algorithmcalculates more expected watch time for the next videoand promotes it more.
Butitdoesn’t work that way for videos already uploaded.

Thereare almostnodownsides in leaving a video up,theydon’t hurt you whena video doesn’t perform andevery view is still 1view.
Everyvideo ona channel isanopportunity to get subscribers and viewers.

Also,videos that are not doing well now, can sometimes pop out of nowhereand sometimes become one of your best videos.

I’vehad this happen a couple of times.

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Whenyou have a copyright claim or copyright strike on a video, deletinga video doesn’tmake the copyright claim or strike go away.
Inthat case: make the video privateor unlisted,so you can resolve the claim (orstrike)when it is not valid.

Whenit’svalidstrike,itis wiseto delete it beforeyou land in court.

Do you lose money if you delete aYouTube video?

Itested this. No you won’t.
Theadvertisers already paid, the ads are already shown to viewers,viewers already clicked on it.
Butdeleting videos can hurt you in other ways as a will explain later inthis article.

So,YouTube won’t subtract your already earned ads.

Butlogically, whenyou delete (orunlist or private)videosviewers won’t be ableto see new ads and therefore you won’t be able to make moneyanymore on those videos.
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Does deleting YouTube videos affectyour channel?

Yes it will.
Especiallywhen you don’thave a lot of videos on your channel andthe videothat you want to delete gets a lot of views.
Besidesyour daily views godown (becauseof the video missing),alsoother videos might get less views.

Thishas to do with aYouTube phenomenon called: one tide floats all boats.
Meaningthat if avideos does well, viewers click over to other videos.

What happens when you delete a YouTube video?
Whenyoupull a video from yourchannel, it can hurtother videos’ performance and can evenspiralinto your channel going a path of getting less and less views, sincethe algorithm calculates less watch time next time and therefore youget less promotion.

My advice: always pull the video at a moment that your channel doeswell, not when it has a dip.

Youcan initialize a spike by releasing a new video for example at thesame moment you delete the other video.
You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (5)

Willthe watch hours decrease if i delete a video in YouTube?

Deletingvideos is straight up deleting watch time.
Andsince watch time on a channel is ranking juice, you delete theranking power you gained with that video.
Ifthe video performed well, it is a lot of ranking juice.

Also,watch time is one of the monetizationthresholds.
Whenyou are up for monetization, it takes you longer to get monetized.

Delete,privatizeor unlist?
Ifyou are doubting aboutdeleting your video,put your videos to private orunlisted,instead of deleting them.
Thisway, you can always put them back up again, andthereputation of the video is completely in tact (including allthe views and watchtime).

Whenyou have links to thedeletedvideos (viaa website for example) orend screens with that video, set the videos to unlisted.
Thisway viewers won’t find a dead link when they click it.
Unlistedmeans that it isn’t discoverable via YouTube itself, like insearch, home or suggested.

Whenyoudon’t have anything pointing to the video, set it to private.

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Whenshould you delete YouTube videos?

Youshould consider deleting ifthe video hurts you, like: it attracts the wrong audience.

Inmy case alot of my views come fromIndia.
(I’mtalking about an Indian audience, but the same applies to anyother type of audience, like ayoungaudienceof18-25years old)
TheYouTube algorithm starts to thinkthat India is my main target audience and will promote my videos toother Indian audiences.

Thisgivesme 4problems:

Core content

Youwant viewers to subscribefor the right content.
Butwhen that content is not your current content (anymore),viewers won’t return becausethey are interested in the content they subscribed to.
Thiswill hurt your promotion in the algorithm, because the algorithmthinks that your content is bad.

Let’ssay you make videos about plants, but now you are only making videosabout bees.
Youonly want people to subscribe to your channel, because of bees, notbecause of plants.
Viewersthat subscribe to your plant content, will not watch your bee contentand vice versa.

Acouple of videos that attracted a big Indian audience, were not mycore content.

Therewas no benefit for me (besides the ad money) to leave it up.
You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (7)

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Average ViewDuration

Theaverage view duration of my Indian audienceis terrible, among the lowest of inthe entire world (thisis the sametoa young audience bythe way).
TheYouTube algorithm thinks that the viewers that watch my videosdoesn’t want to watch my videos.
Inother words, this will hurt me bigtimein the algorithm.

AverageView Duration by demographic is a metric you can find in YouTubeAnalytics.


Oneof my problems with my target audience isaneconomicone(again,sameapplies to a young audience).

Marketing101 dictates that you should create a product that your targetaudience can afford.
I’velooked at ad revenue on2 channelsand sales of my digitalproducts.

Thead revenue from India was amongst the lowest in the world.

AndI sold a grand total of 0.00euro(roundedup) indigital products to India.
You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (8)


Anotherproblem I face with my audience is legality.
WhenI run into peoplestealing my website, my videos or my trademarkitis 9out of 10 times an Indian creator.

Rented land

WithYouTube OnYouTube weare on rented land.
YouTubeprovides the platform and the eyeballs for free, but youdon’t own anything besides your content.
Thereare no options on the platform to excludevisitors from acertain country orage.
Theonly option you’ve got, is todelete videos that attract the wrong audience.

Andthat is exactly what I did
Ideleted the videos here and my views went down.
Inthe bigger picture this doesn’t matter.

Butinthe short termit hurts myego just a tinylittle bit.

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So,What should you do?
Theanswer is: depends on your audience.
Dothe videos-you-want-to-delete, attract the audience that will watchyour future videos?
  • No→ Delete
  • Yes→ keep it up.

When you are serious about YouTube and want to take it to the next level, take a look at my video training program: Viral Strategy.
The program takes you step-by-step through the process of getting views, subscribers and going viral.

For new creators I included a module that guides you step-by-step through the process of starting, creating and setting up a YouTube channel.

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You should never delete YouTube videos – Why I still did! (15)

Dexxter Clark
YouTube consultant
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Why do videos come back after I delete them? ›

If you have turned on Back up and Sync, photos and videos you delete will stay in your trash for 60 days before they are deleted forever. Learn how to turn on Back up and Sync.

Are deleted things gone forever? ›

The direct answer is no. You can treat the Recycle Bin as the last frontier for the data you wish to delete. Whether you accidentally or intentionally deleted any critical data, you can still easily retrieve them here before you permanently remove them from your system.

Where does stuff go when it's deleted? ›

Generally, deleted files go to the Windows Recycle Bin. This makes them available for recovery. However, you will not be able to access the files in the Recycle Bin if: You deleted the files with “Shift + Delete.”

Should you delete inactive subscribers? ›

Subscribers that never touch your emails are inactive subscribers. And, removing them from your list will boost your email marketing performance. But, it also helps protect your sender reputation. Email service providers don't like to talk about it, because they make money by sending more emails.

Can views be deleted? ›

Yes it is possible because view is a virtual table and can deleted,inserted and updated.

What happens if I accidentally copyright? ›

The court plainly stated that “[i]ntention to infringe is not essential under the [Copyright] Act.” Thus, accidental and/or innocent copyright infringement can be punished just as severely as knowing or reckless infringement.

What does clearing cache? ›

When you use a browser, like Chrome, it saves some information from websites in its cache and cookies. Clearing them fixes certain problems, like loading or formatting issues on sites.


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