That is the question.
Things are, yet again, rocky in the YouTube-sphere.
First, let me put some context. A content creator which decides to monetize their content on YouTube, usually do so through AdSense.
They do need to open an AdSense account, which is nothing less than the Google bank put in place to manage and curated revenues generated by Google’s content creators, regardless of their platforms (blogs, YouTube, etc….).
In essence, AdSense receives money from advertisers and redistribute it to the content creators.
Until yesterday, YouTube’s content creators could log in into their AdSense account and have access to a myriad of analytics reporting tools.
It might sound boring, but these are crucial and central analytics stats which allow content creators to monitor how well their viewers react to their content and even see if some irregular activity is taking place on their channel, and take action to mitigate any risks for advertisers.
That was all good and fine. Until the 4th of December, that is.
Around 3:55 pm GMT, YouTube linked AdSense accounts reset their stats to 0. Let me say this again:
Any YouTube content creator with monetized account (and therefore an AdSense) account, saw their stats going from millions of views for some of them to a flat line.
And that was not for a day. In most cases, all stats were reset from the 19th of November onward. Whooping 2 weeks of revenue and stats world wild disappeared.
Of course, it did not take long for YouTube to go crazy. Adsense and YouTube forums started to be flooded with the same questions: Where are my stats? All my stats show 0? Where is my revenue?
Most surprisingly, both on Adsense and YouTube official forums, no “experts” could offer any help or the start of an explanation.
Luckily, a couple of hours later that day, stats started to show again, and by 7 pm GMT, most of the stats and reporting tools were back on, though, seemingly showing lower numbers than usual.
But, overall, a long and global sigh of relief was perceptible around the world. YouTubers were back in business.
I wish I could end this article here.
The next day, 5th of December, around the very same time, 3:55 pm GMT, again, Adsense stats were reset to 0. A new wave of complaint came in, adding to the previous day frustration.
But what made it worse this time, were the answers of the Adsense official help forum so-called ‘experts’. Instead of answering the now hundred plus questions, experts went on giving some sorts of sarcasm filled comments, which in no way helped the current situation.
And this time, the stats did not come back a few hours later, as most of us have expected, as it did happen a day earlier. Actually, as I write this article, a solid 16 hours went through since the last reset, and until now nothing.
Some experts are now saying that Adsense has shut down their reporting tool for YouTube content creators. Which I do find highly unlikely. Such a fundamental move and change would have been met with a TOS update, an update support section (FAQ) and an official post of some kind on different YouTube and Adsense websites.
And of course, in the absence of any official comments or messages, we now have more dramatic theories. Some are saying that the Adsense servers have been hacked. And in some less fantastic scenarios, others are speculating that Adsense is experiencing a bug of some sort.
In any cases, Adsense / YouTube silence doesn’t help the growing worry of the YouTube community, which has been on a constant roller coaster for the past 12 months. It only underlines that something out of the ordinary has happened, twice, in exactly 24 hours intervals.
And this might gives a hint that some kind of update might have malfunctioned, and silence in such a situation only underlines that this was both unintended and probably still being investigated by Adsense/YouTube staff.
Of course, this is as well a speculation.
Most importantly, one question seems to now arise: if indeed this is a bug or the doing of a hacker, and if for any reasons, Adsense fails to recuperate the data, how will the content creator get paid this month.
Well, the good news is that YouTube stats seems to be working, and earnings (even though delayed for now 3 days), are still showing unchanged. So I would expect payments to go ahead without major delays.
I shall update this article as things develop.
As of the 6th of December 6 PM GMT, YouTube related reporting was back on Adsense, and all missing data was restored.
Despite the good news, worry users reported that YouTube Creator helps desk warned that, due to the massive user response, the service was turned back on momentarily but that it would be definitely shut down around January 2018.