YouTube has recently stated that they will begin taking a long, hard look at fake views and ramp up auditing of videos, more so than they have in the past. Now that ads are big business on the video sharing site, and YouTube wants to position itself against traditional TV, they have to clean up their numbers so they can show that the views are legitimate. So, beware ye who hath bought thy views, the shining silver view-slicing Sword of YouTubius cometh for thee.
Hark unto thine, anyway, as I mentioned in the intro, YouTube is getting serious about fake views - those that are either bought or artificially inflated through nefarious tactics. You see, late last year YouTube became part of the Nielsen family and will be pitted against traditional TV network in terms of view tracking. That and this latest move are obviously an effort to further legitimize itself as a viable advertising platform and to rake in more ad dollars that might otherwise have gone to TV ads.
To do that, it needs to look at ways on how it can prove that the number of views on each video are actually people watching videos and not scripts, bots or purchased views. At the Google Online Security Blog Software Engineer Philipp Pfeiffenberger recently talked about how the bad apples begin rotting the whole bushel.
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.
It definitely reads like he was prodded into writing the post by someone higher up who thought that there might be some negative opinions about the traffic on YouTube. It goes on to say that they will be periodically auditing views on videos. All of the views, not just spammy-looking ones at the time of viewing. When they receive evidence that views are fake, they will adjust video view numbers accordingly. Don't worry, they say it will most likely be quite small.
We don’t expect this approach to affect more than a minuscule fraction of videos on YouTube, but we believe it’s crucial to improving the accuracy of view counts and maintaining the trust of our fans and creators.
Is this the end of that view buying cottage industry? It might be a beginning as YouTube begins to smite those fake views. It could turn up the heat on those view selling companies and force them to get more creative. Will YouTube ever be able to fully strip out the fake views? Probably not. Either way, it won't really affect any of us here, right? We're all good, honest business people.
Then again, it could turn out in our favor, eventually, as fake views begin getting stripped that will bring down some of the videos not worth seeing and lift the ones that are a bit higher in overall search results. I can't wait until we get a report of the first video to have a million views chopped off of it. I'm almost giddy with excitement.
Smite, YouTube, smite.