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How to Survive the YouTube Demonetization Apocalypse

how to not get demonetized on YouTube

After the 2017 YouTube adpocalypse, many advertisers have left the platform, which has led to a considerable shortage of monetization opportunities. YouTube’s flawed demonetization algorithm didn’t help the situation as many creators are being demonetized for seemingly no legitimate reason to this day. 

Unfortunately, the YouTube ecosystem doesn’t seem to have improved over the last few years. Quite the contrary — YouTube has been the target of a lot of flak lately, leading to many creators turning toward various YouTube alternatives. The most frequent complaints the platform’s been getting are related to:

  • Unequal enforcement of their policies.
  • Flawed recommendation algorithm.
  • Unfair treatment of some of their creators.
  • Targeted censorship.
  • Unsubstantiated demonetization.
  • Abusable DMCA claim system.

To make things even worse, YouTube recently announced changes in its tax policy that will cut many non-U.S. creators’ revenue even further. According to these changes, YouTube will begin taxing most creators and businesses outside the U.S. from June 2021. Unless the countries they live in have a tax treaty with the United States, these creators will have to pay up to 30% tax on all their ad revenue earned from U.S. viewers.

So what do you do as a business affected by all of the above? These factors make YouTube an uncertain monetization platform at best. If your company wishes to earn revenue from your video content but gets demonetized on YouTube, what can you do to circumvent that? That’s what we’re here to discuss! But before we take a look at how not to get demonetized on YouTube, let’s first see why YouTube demonetizes your content in the first place.

Why Do My Videos Get Demonetized?

Although flawed in its enforcement, YouTube has a monetization policy in their terms and conditions. Assuming that you weren’t unjustly demonetized, you might have violated a clause or two. So what are these rules you have to abide by? Let’s take a look.

The first thing that’s going to be blatantly apparent about YouTube’s monetization policy is how convoluted it is. The gist of it is that you must abide by the following to be eligible for monetization:

Yes, that is a lot to swallow, so we’ll break down the key points you should be aware of. These are the things that aren’t eligible for monetization:

  • Intent to scam, deceptive practices, or spam.
  • Sexualized content or any form of full nudity.
  • Violations of child safety.
  • Dangerous or harmful content (violence, dangerous stunts, drugs, promoting non-medically approved remedies, etc.).
  • Hate speech (promoting violence or hate toward a specific group of people based on religion, gender, age, race, etc.).
  • Harassment and cyberbullying (malicious, targeted content with repeating insults or attacks on a person).
  • Copyrighted content (unless it adheres to YouTube’s fair use policy).
  • Duplicate or reused content.
  • Compilation content (music, video, etc., even if you have the legal permission to use it).

These clauses are the ones you must abide by to preserve your rights to video monetization. However, there’s more…

YouTube’s Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines

The things mentioned above may have your entire channel’s monetization rights revoked. However, YouTube also emphasizes that your videos need to be advertiser-friendly and reserves the right to limit their monetization or remove it altogether on a video-by-video basis. 

This part is where things get tricky, primarily because YouTube has an algorithm whose task is to check whether it deems videos as advertiser-friendly. In a perfect world, here are the things that can get your videos demonetized:

  • Strong profanity and inappropriate language.
  • Violence (gore, sexual fluids, or video captures of graphic events).
  • Adult content (sexually suggestive content, nudity, or any explicit content).
  • Harmful or dangerous content (life-threatening stunts, medical procedures, inappropriate pranks, promoting or advocating harm or violence).
  • Hateful content (targeted hate speech against a group of people based on their religion, social status, gender, race, or similar).
  • Incendiary and demeaning content (shaming or insulting content aimed at a particular individual or a group of people).
  • Any drug-related, tobacco-related, and firearms-related content.
  • Controversial events or sensitive subjects (pedophilia, sexual abuse, self-harm, suicide, abortion, terrorist acts, death).
  • Adult themes in family-friendly content.

These are the points YouTube lists as reasons for demonetizing your videos. However, here is where the majority of the problem lies. Some of these points (like the controversial events and demeaning content) are way too vague. Add to that the fact that an algorithm does the initial analysis of your content, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. 

So is there something you can do not to get demonetized on YouTube? Yes, there are a few things you could try!

What Can I Do Not to Get Demonetized on YouTube?

Here are a few things you could do to minimize the odds of falling victim to YouTube demonetization. Do keep in mind that these points will not guarantee YouTube won’t still demonetize you due to the platform’s flawed algorithm, but you can maximize your odds if you follow them.

1. Double-Check Before You Upload

Before you press the upload button, there are always a few things you have to fill out. We’re talking about your video title, thumbnail, and description! OK, but what do we mean by double-checking them? It’s quite simple — maybe they are the reason your videos get demonetized.

YouTube monetization bot scans your video title, thumbnail, and description for particular words and graphic content (in the thumbnail) and decides whether to monetize your videos or not accordingly. Here is a video by Andrew Platt that can give you a hint on what words are most likely to get demonetized on YouTube.

As for your thumbnail images, may we suggest using Vision AI to test whether your thumbnail images comply with safe search policies? Just scroll down the main page a bit, drag your thumbnail image into the designated field, and check the “Safe Search” stats.

The lower the displayed parameters are, the more likely your thumbnail won’t get you demonetized.

2. Reassess Your Content

If you are positive your title, thumbnail, and description aren’t the reason your videos are getting demonetized, maybe it’s time you reassess your content. There is likely something in your videos that is against YouTube’s Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines. If you want to continue earning revenue from YouTube, here are a few things you could try:

Censor Yourself Cursing

YouTube penalizes profanities as per their advertiser guidelines. Even if you aren’t a pottymouth, we all sometimes slip up! Thankfully, that’s why there’s the video editing process. Censor any cuss words you might use in your videos as they might be the reason you’re getting demonetized. Here’s an article that lists the words that are considered curse words by the YouTube algorithm.

Say Goodbye to Controversial Topics

Unfortunately, if you want to earn revenue from YouTube and are a channel focused on controversial or disliked topics, you’re out of luck. You don’t have much choice; either look for an alternative source of income or change the topics you cover.

Don’t Do Reaction Videos

Speaking of problematic topics, we advise against doing reaction videos. This content is in the gray area of YouTube’s fair use policy, which is why it often gets demonetized.

Don’t Do Politics

This point closely ties in with the don’t-do-controversial-topics part, but it’s worth emphasizing. Politics are always controversial, regardless of what you think, so it’s best to avoid the topic altogether.

Keep Regular Tabs on All Your Videos

If you thought your videos were safe because you saw that juicy green monetization icon, you’re wrong. YouTube’s policy and algorithm evolve daily, so everything is subject to change. It is not uncommon for YouTube to go back to old creators’ videos and demonetize them even years after their initial upload. So stay on your toes at all times so that you can react promptly should such sudden demonetization happen.

3. Request Manual Review for Your Demonetized Videos

If you’ve done everything mentioned above and still have your videos demonetized, appeal the action by requesting a manual review. You will find a button to do that next to the infamous yellow monetization icon. After that, all you can do is wait and pray that you get a swift and decisive response.

What Can I Do If YouTube Won’t Monetize My Videos?

If you just can’t seem to win the battle against YouTube demonetization, there are a few other things you could try to help remedy the situation.

1. Look for Alternative Sources of Income

If you’re having trouble keeping your videos monetized, you can look for alternative sources of revenue. There are many possibilities you can consider, some of which are:

  • Taking up paid sponsorships.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Establishing a paid subscription service over platforms like Patreon or SubscribeStar.
  • Making your branded merch and selling it.

By doing so, you can use your YouTube audience to generate income without any video ads.

2. Set Up Your Own Website

This solution is the best option you have if you ask us. By setting up a website, you will be in full control of your content and income. And don’t worry; there are many YouTube monetization alternatives out there. By finding a reliable video marketing platform to take care of your monetization needs, you will rid yourself of all the sleepless nights you had while on YouTube. You won’t have to worry whether your videos will get the dreaded yellow icon and will reap all the benefits of unlimited monetization.

3. Use Your YouTube Channel’s Reach to Market Your Business

This last point won’t directly bring you revenue, but even if YouTube demonetizes you, it’s still worth using it for its reach. With over 2 billion monthly users and more than 500 hours of content uploaded daily, YouTube still has one of the largest audiences of all social media platforms. As much as 35% of the U.K. population and 75% of U.S. adults use this video-sharing platform regularly.

Aside from the above, 55% of marketers use YouTube, making it the most-used video channel out there! So even if you can’t make money on YouTube, don’t underestimate its value!

What Is My Best Course of Action?

Getting demonetized on YouTube can severely impact your business’s income, and YouTube isn’t doing much to fix the issues with their platform. You, as a content creator, can only do as much to remedy the situation. So make sure to:

  • Check your video title, thumbnail, and description for anything that could signal YouTube’s monetization bot to demonetize you.
  • Consider shifting the focus of your content if it deals with any problematic topics that YouTube’s algorithm doesn’t like.
  • If the worst comes to pass, request a manual review of your video to try to reinstate monetization privileges.

If all else fails, you can always move your videos to your own website and monetize it. Frankly, with the uncertainty that YouTube currently brings, that’s precisely what we’d recommend.

If you decide to do that, we at Brid.TV can help you monetize your video content. If you’re interested to see what we have in store, check out our site — we support all the latest video advertising technology, including VAST & VPAID ad tags, instream and outstream ad units, ad pods, and much more.

Don’t let any more ad revenue go to waste; take your video monetization to the next level with a premium online video platform!

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your business maximize ad revenue and would like to try our platform out, contact our representatives and get your free trial today!