Buying YouTube views and likes is not new news, but times have changed recently. You may have noticed a fair number of new online articles and news pieces saying how buying views is illegal in some states, and how some companies have been sued for selling views and likes and so forth. Have you wondered why these pieces are cropping up more and more? In truth, they are scare pieces because the YouTube industry practice has changed, and Google and Facebook are doing their best to maintain advertiser confidence in their platform.
Protecting Advertiser Confidence
The biggest goal of Google (also owns YouTube) and Facebook (also owns Instagram) is to protect their brand. If advertisers think that people are getting away with fake users and likes, then they will not pay money to video producers, or pay money for advertisements on said platforms. Ergo, Google and Facebook pump out online news claiming that fake views and likes are impossible to maintain, but the fact is that buying likes and views is now the only way to get a foothold in social media networks like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
Plus, do not forget that Google and Facebook benefit from fake views and likes because it makes their material seem more popular, which attracts more advertisers. Ergo, Google and Facebook have to appear to be fighting fake views, even while Facebook and YouTube continue to benefit from them.
Did Pewdiepie Let it Slip?
Pewdiepie is the world record holder for most subscribers in YouTube history. He was only recently dethroned by T-Series, a record company in India that has 129 million subscribers. Pewdiepie currently has 100+ million subscribers.
Pewdiepie did a video answering how he got so famous, and he tactfully said that everybody who gets big on YouTube has a little boost from here or there. He never goes into specifics, instead referencing how other people helped him reach the top. But for people who have their feet nestled deep in YouTube’s soil, it is well known that gaining YouTube notoriety costs a lot of money. Buying views is just another cost to add to your YouTube marketing budget.
How Does YouTube Detect Fake Views?
Do not believe what people say in online articles. Nobody knows how YouTube detects fake views. However, if you study the YouTube system and analytics, you can make a few educated guesses. There is no need to test using a string of data centers, servers, and such, you can test using somebody else’s mobile phone (so long as it is not running on your Wi-Fi connection). Here are a few assumptions on how they detect fake views.
- A view is not registered unless the viewer has been watching for a total of 30 seconds. This is easily testable, and for the most part true, though they will start to disregard the views you keep conducting with your own account.
- IP addresses are used to identify fake views, especially if the fake views keep coming from the same IP address, or series of IP addresses.
- External source tracking is also used, so that YouTube can see if people are getting to your videos from other websites, search engines, apps, and so forth.
- Data tracking is used, like if you are using What’sApp to find a video, or Chrome, or a bookmarking service, and so on.
As stated by social media publicity company Rantic, Google’s detection methods are mostly about recognizing patterns. For example, if you use a view buying service that uses bots in a country that doesn't speak your language, then YouTube will consider those views a little suspect. YouTube also knows that there are peak and trough times for views. For example, if you have no views from people in the UK, and then suddenly get 1000 within the space of an hour at 2am in the morning, then YouTube may consider that suspicious.
Does Google Check Every View?
Google claims that it only checks to see if YouTube views are fake after 300 have been achieved, but this is not necessarily true (or proven). There are plenty of legitimate ways to drive over 1000 views from many different sources, both from legitimate paid affiliate programs, to Instagram. For example, if you know how to master Instagram, and you have been priming your audience for weeks with previews of your video, and then you post your video, and you promote it on Instagram, and you make an Instagram video to go with it (the one that has a notification for users), then getting 1000 honest views is easier than peeling a boiled egg.
The very notion that Google checks for fake views when a video reaches 300 views is preposterous, especially when you consider the sheer volume of duplicate content that YouTube “knows” is duplicate, but doesn't block. Plus, the fact that Google spends thousands per day on auto-editing offending YouTube videos (check your terms and conditions because they can edit your videos too without informing you), suggest that Google would have to invest hundreds of thousands per year checking videos every time they reach 300 views. Perhaps it would be more believable if Google checked for fake views when they reach 3000.