When to Delete Those Old, Embarrassing Videos on Your YouTube Channel

When is it OK to delete old YouTube videos? In this article, we explore three scenarios where it absolutely makes sense.

Deciding whether to delete or keep old YouTube videos is tough. There are so many factors to consider, such as how popular the videos are and if they still match the focus of your channel. In fact, that last point is pretty crucial. Some people try dozens of YouTube niches before choosing just one.

Does that sound like you? If so, here are three times when it’s OK to delete old YouTube videos.

Scenario 1: You’re Embarrassed by Your Older Videos

This is the most important reason to delete old YouTube videos. If you look back at any piece of content and feel embarrassed or think it doesn’t represent who you are today, go ahead and delete it. Don’t think about the number of views it’s getting. Forget about the fact that it could get views later as an evergreen topic. If you care about your online image or personal brand, that’s the number one thing to consider.

You might consider deleting older videos if:

  • They received a lot of backlash.
  • They don’t reflect your current level of maturity.
  • They include themes that could get you canceled today.
  • Regardless of the reason, you just don’t like how they portray you!

Scenario 2: Your Channel Is Heading in a Different Direction

You should also consider deleting YouTube videos that don’t match the current theme of your channel. Some people think this isn’t a big deal, but avoid falling into that trap. YouTube is too competitive to leave your page half-branded!

For example, imagine that a viewer types “exercises to relieve knee pain” into YouTube’s search bar. There are plenty of videos to choose from, but ultimately, the viewer taps on one with a bold thumbnail and a convincing title. Overall, they’re satisfied with the video and excited to try all of the exercises for strengthening their knees.

Because the video is so helpful, they go to the creator’s channel to watch more content. But something isn’t right. There are other videos about knee health, but many have nothing to do with that topic. Altogether, the channel looks like a hodge-podge of random content with a few months dedicated to knee health.

At this point, how do you think the viewer feels? Should they trust the channel’s advice or find a more authoritative page?

Scenario 3: Your Older Videos Get Minimal Views

Finally, if your older videos aren’t all that popular, it’s OK to remove them from your channel. This is especially true if you don’t like the content for whatever reason. Perhaps you made the videos when you had dim lighting, quiet audio, or a backdrop you aren’t fond of. It’s easy to delete these types of videos when they’re underperforming.

On the flip side, what if you have an older video that’s well-produced but doesn’t get many views? Does it make sense to delete it forever?

If you’re facing this scenario, don’t give up just yet. Try changing the title and thumbnail to see if that makes a difference, then promote the video on the YouTube Community tab. That could prompt viewers to start watching again, which helps the algorithm recommend the video to more people.

Proceed with Caution

Deleting videos from your YouTube channel can lead to significant consequences, often negative. On YouTube, videos are forever and the last thing you want as a creator is to part ways with a video that might later turn out to be a goldmine! The YouTube algorithm, which relies on metrics like watch time, audience retention, and engagement to recommend content, is disrupted when videos are deleted. This disruption can diminish your channel's visibility and reach.

To mitigate these effects, it's crucial to carefully assess the performance of each video while keeping the scenarios we mentioned above in mind. A useful strategy is to direct viewers from deleted videos to other relevant content on your channel, maintaining engagement and presence. Additionally, be aware of any legal or ethical issues when removing videos, especially those involving sponsorships or collaborations.

Can You Revive a Dead Video?

It's part and parcel of a creator's life to expect those "10 out of 10" debut videos. But not every one of them needs to be a lost cause! Some strategies can effectively change the outcome of your "dead" video:

  • Optimizing the video title and thumbnail to make them more enticing.
  • Leveraging collaborations to inject authenticity and boost credibility.
  • Promoting it on end screens of your popular videos or linking it to newer content.

In the video above, Dan explains how to achieve this successfully. The main idea is to keep experimenting with the video after its upload and observe how it affects the performance. This will not only improve results for the video in question but also for future uploads and the channel overall.

But, as long as you’re making new content, you almost have infinite chances to get more views. So don’t worry about keeping old videos that embarrass you, underperform, or don’t fit your channel’s theme anymore. Look to the future of your content journey!