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Analysis : Fake Youtube views count as advertising fraud


Youtube fake video views count as fraud

Think about it. A Youtube video plays, and a pre-roll video ad displays. What if some of those views are 'fake visitors' or bots that hit the page, get it to run the full video ad and count as a view? Would this classify as advertising fraud? Definitely.

It's no secret that some videos on Youtube have a suspiciously high amount of traffic and view counts. There are countless freelancers and companies out there that market packages to content creators to up their view counting.

This week Google announced a crackdown on inflated views and would be auditing videos that showed suspicious stats, but can they realistically monitor millions of videos with a staff of a few hundred?

There are plenty of resources online that show people how they can boost their views. You can check out our free tips on how to boost your Youtube content. However, some people go further and offer packages to help people get more video views. One such package on freelancer website Peopleperhour states :

"I can send 10,000+ real viewers to your YouTube video in 3 days for €9"

Notably a majority of the offers of this nature come from developing countries or eastern Europe but when people are paying for Youtube views, what are they really getting? In most cases, it seems too good to be true and an investment of pennies to get thousands of views is quite likely to be an automated process that involves no real viewers or re-directed traffic from popups that are supposedly real visitors but are not. In a best case scenario, a package like this will bring very low quality traffic from non-targeted groups that have no interest in the video.

To get 10,000 people to visit a video is not an easy task, especially if it is a niche subject that has a small audience. However legitimate companies that offer services to help boost people's videos through genuine marketing techniques shouldn't be cast aside. In fact, PR and press coverage is all part of boosting the visibility of videos and creating debate around them. Unfortunately some freelancers or 'PR professionals' think a bot approach is a good way to promote a video. It's not and for advertisers, it's money thrown in the fire (should their pre-roll ads run on a fake hit).

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