With the recent news of YouTube deleting more than 2 billion “unnatural” views from the website and regardless of which side you’re on in the debate of whether or not this actually happened, it’s apparent that the video platform has had it with the violation of “TOU #4 Section H”. Each of the users who has violated the code, received a warning email clearly stating that this is a breach of YouTube terms of service and that if they are caught again, their account will be terminated. To put in brief, YouTube has had it with black hat views.
How does this relate to you and your brand?
There have been cases where videos have received up to 60, 000 views with just $50; however, you definitely “get what you pay for” to put in nicely. Views can be received with automated bots that can manipulate the count to make it look like someone really watched the video, when in reality it was played without any eyeballs gracing a screen.To get the views, the services use a relatively simple system. First they embed the given video on a random website somewhere and set it to autoplay. Then they use bots to direct thousands of rented IP addresses from around the world to the web address. Since the video autoplays, each hit the site gets racks up another view.
There have also been cases of “link tricks” which do not count – where a call to action on a link takes someone to a completely irrelant video (eg. “click here to win $100″ taking you to a video about a cat) similarly presenting bogus numbers to clients.
One of the ways to catch these fakers is through YouTube Insights – just imagine the embarrassment experienced when those who had purchased fake views had no statistics showing up and yet somehow had over 100, 000 views! Another way is through the traffic source or by viewing the comments - again, just imagine the embarrassment when very clean and corporate companies use Adult or Casino or when a video has a high amount of views with zero comments.
-Analytics screenshot from one of VMG distributed videos.
How can you avoid fake views on YouTube?
Make sure that your approach to online video distribution is legit by following these steps.
Work with professionals who have a good track record.
What other videos has the agency distributed and what was their success rate? How did they go about doing it? Was the agency behind the “Evan Longoria’s Crazy Bare Hand Catch” 7 million view viral hit that helped the razor makers to jump their previous YouTube videos from fewer than 20,000 views to seven million? Perhaps the agency has assisted leading food brands in distributing cooking videos to a target audience of women, or an opening of a grocery store targeted a demographic who lives in the surrounding area to attract new customers with a coupon? Whatever it is, make sure they can walk the talk.
Get a guarantee.
It’s okay to be hesitant when entering a new realm or hiring on a new company. As an example, VMG offers a video marketing service guaranteeing at least 500,000 views in four weeks. If a video fails to reach that—which has yet to happen—VMG will charge a much lower rate tied to the number of views.
Communicate your expectations.
What exactly are your goals with the video? Do you want brand awareness? Or, would you like more engagement with the video in forms of directing viewers to your website, estore, or Facebook page? What demographic would you like to engage with the video? Make sure to communicate your expectations so you can track the success.