All myths about YouTube dislikes DEBUNKED!

All myths about YouTube dislikes DEBUNKED!
Written by: Dexxter Clark
Are dislikes bad on YouTube? Do dislikes matter at all on YouTube?
I’ll talk about these and other stubborn myths around YouTube dislikes that are in desperate need of de-mystification.

You’ve probably heard the myth that dislikes are a form of engagement.
And since engagement is the social currency in which YouTube videos are paid, it makes your video perform better in the YouTube rankings.
If that information was true in the first place, it is outdated now.

What is like to dislike ratio?

The like to dislike ratio is the amount of likes a video got compared to the amount of dislikes.
The like/dislike ratio is used by the algorithm for discovery, but it is only a small factor.
Watch Time, Average View Duration and comments are far more important than like/dislike ratio.
A bad Watch time or Average view duration will hurt the video MORE than a dislike.

The irony is that some viewers leave angry comments explaining how bad the video is and leave a dislike... but instead of hurting the video, the comment pushes the video higher up the rankings.
This often has a snowball effect: if one viewer comments, another will confirm the statement in the comments, 2 more will confirm it, 4 more will confirm and so on.
And the video will be pushed more and more in the discovery algorithms.
Thanks haters :)

I`ve seen this happen on multiple occasions.

What is a good like to dislike ratio on YouTube?
  • 100-95% good
  • 85-95% normal
  • > 50% ok
  • < 50% bad
There is no need to panic if your like/dislike ratio far exceeds the 50%.
But if your like to dislike ratio dips below 50% it can hurt your video’s performance significantly.

How do you calculate like/dislike ratio?
Ratio % = likes / (likes + dislikes) * 100
If a video gets 100 votes, 90 of them are likes, 10 of them are dislikes, you have a like/dislike ratio of 90%.

A calculation example with 15 likes and 1 dislike:
93.8 % = 15 / (15 + 1) * 100

How can you improve like/dislike ratio?
  • It might help if you use less clickbaity titles & thumbnails
  • Pick less controversial topics and say less controversial things. Stay away from fanboy-ism and politics.
  • Try to be more objective
But to be honest, a 100% like/dislike ratio is almost impossible to achieve for a video with more than 1000 views.

Why do YouTubers ask for likes?

Besides looking incredibly badass, it can also outbalance dislikes in the like/dislike ratio.
Which in turn is ranking factor in the discovery algorithms.
However the significance of a like for the algorithms is small.

Why do good YouTube videos get dislikes?

A lot of viewers dislike good videos, not because the video or creator is bad, but because they don`t agree with the point of view/opinion of the video.

Controversial topics and fanboy-videos attract a lot of dislikes.
Short-sighted Apple fanboys will always dislike videos about Windows, even if it is the most brilliant video ever made.

There are also a lot of people that will dislike a video, just because they can.
Give people a dislike option and they will use it, no matter what.

Does the YouTube dislike button do anything?

Yes, it is used in the algorithm for a couple of things:
  • It is a sign to the algorithm that it should suggest less videos of that creator to the viewer.
  • it is used in the like-to-dislike ratio for the ranking (but only a tiny amount)
It can also help the YouTube creator.
If you take controversy and fanboy-ism out of the equation, a bad like/dislike ratio can help the creator to decide to make more (or less) videos around the topic.

Do YouTubers lose money from dislikes?

No not directly.
It’s not the case that if you hit dislike that a creator will lose a dollar or 10.
But a bad like/dislike ratio can hurt the video promotion of the creator, which can lead to less viewers to see ads.

Do YouTubers get paid for likes or views?

YouTubers don`t get paid for either of them.
They get paid for clicks on ads.
But if a YouTube doesn’t have a lot of views, they logically don’t have a lot of ads.

Are dislikes bad on YouTube?

Yes they can be bad, but not necessarily.
YouTube doesn`t use a dislike a negative sign that a video is bad directly, but YouTube uses the like/dislike ratio.

I`ve actually tested the influence of dislikes with a YouTube video.
On a brand new YouTube channel (so 0 watch time minutes on the channel to skew the results).
I uploaded a video around a very controversial topic.
Within a couple of days, the video had hundreds of views without a single like!
Only dislikes and lots and lots of nasty comments.
And the video still kept drawing 10-20 views a day and lots of nasty comments.

In other words:
if there are comments and the Average View Duration is good, the dislike won’t kill your video.

Do dislikes matter on youtube?

Yes it’s a ranking factor for discovery, but not a big one.
Watch Time Minutes, Average View Duration and comments are far more important.

YouTube is aware of the phenomenon of dislike-bombs in which groups op people (automated or not) dislike a video out of spite with the topic or the creator.
YouTube doesn’t like that, because it hurts their ad revenue.
This is one of the reasons that the significance of the like/dislike ratio is so small.

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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