Why Likes and Dislikes Really Don’t Matter on YouTube

For the longest time, part of YouTube’s algorithm for showing preferred content has relied on the “likes” a video receives. It’s often a measure of success, especially to creators. But in reality, getting a “like” really shouldn’t matter.

And it’s something that YouTube should do away with, really. Especially in light of how the likes-to-dislikes ratio can have a negative psychological impact on someone’s mindset.

Why Likes Are a Failed Measurement

Too many people are concerned with the number of likes they get on any piece of content. And I’ll admit, I geek out a bit myself when I see someone liking or retweeting something I said on Twitter.

But in YouTube, it’s more of a defunct feature.

I’m sure at one time it helped get certain content in front of the right audience. But nowadays, it’s simply a number that has no bearing in reality.

Dislike Bombing

If someone doesn’t like you as a creator, it’s commonplace to get bombed by dislikes. This happens often when one creator’s audience goes after another creator.

For no other reason than to troll, people can dislike a video into oblivion.

Another aspect is anything political. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, a video about politics can easily see the “20% like” number.

My point is that it’s too easy for YouTube’s algorithm to be adjusted for showing a certain video if mass numbers of people hit dislike. The end result could be a very informative video to the majority getting buried deep into the bowls of the beast.

Disliking Without Watching

One aspect of likes and dislikes that truly drives me nuts is how people will hit either one literally seconds after an upload. Without watching the video, many people will hit dislike, telling the YouTube algorithm that the video is bad.

In fact, I know some people who will dislike a video simply because they don’t like a specific creator.

I mean, how do you know if you like or dislike a video before you have enough time to get through an intro?

People Still Watch

And lastly, regardless if they hit like or dislike, many people will still watch the video. Instead of burying a piece of content because of dislike bombing, YouTube should focus mostly on watch time.

In reality, this is perhaps the most important metric to go by. It’s all about consumption to YouTube, so why even bother with likes-to-dislikes ratios?

Even hate-watching still means someone is consuming the content. You might as well slap an ad in front of those viewers.

It’s All About Time Spent Consuming Content

When it comes to YouTube, I really don’t pay attention to who likes the video. For me, it’s all about watch time. If I create something that has a high percentage of engagement, that’s what thrills me.

It tells me that I’m on the right track and I should focus on more of that kind of content. Likes don’t really offer that deep of an insight.

I don’t know, maybe it’s worth that dopamine hit when you see someone like your content.

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Michael Brockbank

I've been a freelance writer since January 1, 2012. I've worked with a myriad of clients and currently the Content Marketing Team Lead for GreenGeeks web hosting. My fingers are also in a lot of different industries such as gaming and fitness.

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