Do a quick Google search for Virool today (at time of writing) and the only returns you'll see are their own sponsored ad and social network pages. Why? Well it appears that Google has decided that the high number of back-links added to their site in such a short time deserved a disciplinary measure - and removed it from the index.

UPDATE: Virool informed us on March 17 2014 that they have been re-listed by Google

But there may still may be more to this story than meets the eye. Virool received $6.62 million in seed funding last year and markets itself as a way to buy YouTube video views. So does the punishment metered out by Google have anything to do with their recent announcement that they were going to step up their crackdown on inflated YouTube views?

In a recent blog post Google said: "Since YouTube views are so important, it's no surprise that an ecosystem of businesses has evolved around artificially helping creators get YouTube views, likes, and subscribers. YouTube isn't just a place for videos, it's a place for meaningful human interaction. When some bad actors try to game the system by artificially inflating view counts, they're not just misleading fans about the popularity of a video, they're undermining one of YouTube's most important and unique qualities,"

Obviously advertising revenue is increasingly important for YouTube, and fraudulent views hurt its credibility. It warns users about inflating or purchasing video views in its usage terms. So did Google find more than just bad back-links to help make a decision to remove Virool from search. If I'm looking to build my brand in YouTube and Google, maybe I should be careful about my choice of Video Ad placement agency?

  • virool

    And Virool has been restored :)

  • James

    The agency and advertiser world knows Virool gets views from poor quality publishers such as

    Then, they'll turn around and buy 1% of good inventory and try to front as if the good inventory was used during the campaign.

    I know this from conversations with agencies, advertisers, and ad tech companies close to the situation.

    Bottom line: Virool pays 1 cent to poor quality publishers while charging advertisers 10 cents and fronting it as premium inventory. This news makes perfect sense and plus the agency and advertiser world never took them seriously, but now they have more reason to not take them seriously.

  • YouTube Expert

    Funny - I've had some recent conversations with people in the industry and no one really knows what goes on at Virool. People pump money into the site, their views go up and then when you stop pumping money in, the views stop. It's not a good long term solution and even in the short-term, who knows where the views are coming from. The views definitely aren't people interested in your content. Plus on top of that, it's actually cheaper to use AdWords and pay for views directly through Google. Sorry to say but the whole service seems shady no matter how many times their employees deny it (as I'm sure someone will respond to this saying how the site is legit).

    • virool

      This video should shed some light on this:

      On our platform you can see which sites are promoting your videos and you can opt-out of the ones that you don't want to show your video.

  • virool

    Thank you for bringing this issue to light. We are working with Google to resolve it.

    We are commending YouTube for banning a lot of bad actors in the view buying business, however I wanted to assure that Virool is in full compliance with all of their Terms of Service.

    As a matter of fact, YouTube’s CEO and number of executives have met with us and been advising our team to make sure that we are fully compliant with their
    platform. As we grow and flourish, we want to make sure that we stay
    transparent and ethical.

    All the best,
    Alexander Debelov

    • Dave Holland

      Thanks for the clarification Alexander! Hopefully you will be re-listed soon.