Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
I often integrate YouTube videos with the blog posts. That way, visitors can either read or watch the content covering certain topics. However, I stopped getting credit from YouTube for views and watch time from the blog. Did I finally fix this problem?
According to YouTube analytics, it’s a strong possibility. However, I’ve learned to not get my hopes up from just a few days’ worth of data.
YouTube and Google both have a habit of sinking blogs and channels seemingly on a whim.
No YouTube Views or Watch Time on the Blog
February of 2021 marked the last time I saw “WriterSanctuary.com” as a source for External Views in YouTube Analytics. Since then, the watch time and view count of certain videos dropped like a stone.
This was quite frustrating considering that external views made up a big chunk of my channel’s growth.
I tried everything I could think of short of wiping out the website and starting over. So, I simply reserved that I would never get those views and watch time again and just kept an eye out for anyone else that had a similar problem.
I still added the videos to the blog posts, though. After all, the whole initial purpose of the YouTube channel was to embed videos into the blog posts to give visitors an option to read or watch.
What Finally Fixed this Issue?
When I stumbled across a possible solution to this YouTube problem, I was actually working on something else. I recently purchased a three-site license from Themegrill and was trying to set up a new appearance on WriterSanctuary.com.
However, Themegrill’s documentation seems a bit outdated and is rough to follow. I was having an issue with something in iFrames (HTML language often used for embeds) and read how certain firewalls can block how iFrames work.
Coincidentally, using iFrames is how you can embed YouTube videos into a blog.
Once I read that claim, I spent about an hour pouring over my firewall’s settings. But alas, there was nothing that pointed to how it would block iFrames.
Stirred by determination once again, I did a quick search on Google and came across something I’d never considered before.
Put the Firewall in “Learning” Mode
A lot of firewall plugins for WordPress will have an option for “Learning” mode. This is when the security plugin keeps track of everything that is normal operating procedures of your website.
However, it’s not something you’d want to keep active for an extended period of time.
Set the firewall in learning mode and then watch all of the videos you have embedded on your blog. Essentially, the firewall will learn that the iFrame usage is normal from YouTube.
In this particular case, I put the firewall in learning mode for about three days while watching the videos from the site. From what I can tell, the process seemed to work.
Is This Causing the Recent Growth in the Data?
Ever since putting the firewall in learning mode, I’ve seen WriterSanctuary.com appear as an external traffic source in YouTube Analytics. This is something I haven’t seen since the beginning of 2021.
What leads me to believe that this process worked is that I haven’t changed anything else on the blog except for the theme. However, I’ve long since discredited the theme as the source of this problem using several different themes while testing the video views.
As the firewall is the only thing I have worked on recently, logic dictates that the solution was evidenced.
Sorry…trying my best at a Spock-ism.
Anyway, if you also have trouble seeing your blog recording views and watch time from YouTube videos, check your firewall. It seems to have worked brilliantly for me.
Well, at the moment anyway. Who knows what Google and YouTube will change next that will bork any adjustments you make.
YouTube is Such a Tempermental Mistress
Don’t get me wrong, I love creating content on YouTube and interacting with my audience. But the platform is such a fickle collection of algorithms. In my experience, it’s far worse the Google when it comes to ranking and showing content.
Still, I’ve doubled my audience and I have a lot of fun during the Monday night live streams. I just wish everything worked without having to spend so much time troubleshooting problems that don’t have clear and easy-to-find explanations.
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