Jim Louderback

October 31, 2013

Dumb Ways to Fail on YouTube 4: Fake It Until You Make It

Filed under: Commentary,Internet TV,YouTube Tips — Tags: , , , , , — Jim @ 11:49 am

fake it until you make itAristotle advised readers that if they acted virtuous, they might then become virtuous. That adage has been adopted into by the “Fake It ‘till You Make It” crowd, who practice self-deception as a life strategy.

And for many, it actually works. Nevertheless, it is one of the dumbest things you can do on YouTube, and indeed on the internet in general.

I call it “stream fraud”, and I feel like I’ve been railing against if forever, but it’s only been three years. Back in 2010 I was mostly concerned with shady video ad networks and other low-life players, but since then it’s moved on to YouTube in force.

There are more than a handful of seemingly legitimate companies that will take your money and give you “views”. A quick search on Google for “buy youtube views” turns up a variety of alternatives – from Virool to Channel Factory and Vagex – most of them shady. The recent REELSeo forum had at least two companies promising to deliver 10,000 video views in just a few days on any video. The YouTube sections on many black-hat SEO forum sites have thousands of pages where these illegitimate techniques are discussed. Unfortunately these tools are used by more brands than you might think.

You can typically spot these fake view videos a mile away. How? Look for videos with hundreds of thousands – or millions of views – and just a smattering of comments. Or hundreds of likes and no dislikes. The best YouTube videos engage at least a few people, and if you’re not attracting even a few nattering nabobs of negativity, you’re just not doing it right.

Buying views isn’t just a waste of money – it’s outright fraud if in-page or in-stream ads are served. But if that’s not enough to sway you, YouTube’s not standing still either. At the end of last year they began to target channels and videos that were clearly juicing views, including wiping out more than a billion fake views from Universal Music alone.

But that didn’t solve the problem. I’ve continued to see blatantly faked view counts across YouTube this year – I even called out the problem during my Vidcon keynote in August.


The enclosed screen shot is just one of many examples I’ve found. Published on April 12th, 2013, this video has over a quarter million views, but just 5 comments. Even worse, it has 408 likes, but only one dislike. And that one’s not even legit – I actually put it in myself just to see what would happen.






Here’s another clue that this video’s views were faked. I grabbed this stats screen from YouTube just a few days ago – 23 more views, but nary a smidge of engagement:

clip_image002Notice that virtually all 250,413 views happened on just one day. That’s just not normal. And no shares nor subscriptions were driven from those views either. If it were a duck I’d call it decidedly odd.

But YouTube has recently started stepping up its enforcement. In mid-September they posted a video warning creators away from buying fake views, The relevant quote:

“YouTube believes that a view should be something that happens when someone decides to watch a video. If someone is tricked or forced into watching a video, that is not OK…. Anything that artificially increases views either through automated means or playing videos for people who didn’t choose to watch them is against our terms.”

So it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. And in the last few days another round of crackdowns has begun in earnest as the company penalizes and takes down suspect videos.

So if you want to fail on YouTube, go buy a bunch of shady views. And when you get caught, good luck convincing your boss, your clients or your partners that it just wasn’t your fault. Congratulations! You just failed miserably at YouTube.


  1. Thanks for finally writing about > Dumb Wɑys tߋ Fail on YouTube 4: Fake
    It Until Yoou Make It | Jim Louderback < Loved it!

    My blog post; social
    meedia ρosts

    Comment by social media posts — June 11, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

  2. You can promote your site by publishing blogs or articles on the other sites which have good traffic.
    What can we do to keep our entries frequent and interesting to
    the blog reader. When you factor in that the topics discussed are things
    participants have an interest in it is understandable
    they would want to share the same experience again.

    Comment by myoppl — July 25, 2014 @ 1:33 am

  3. instagram followers

    Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to shar…

    Trackback by instagram followers — November 10, 2015 @ 2:54 am

  4. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was a enjoyment account it. Glance advanced to more brought agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

    Comment by 【パイロット 万年筆シルバーン 細字 (FK-5MS-ID-F石畳)】2015年 贈りもの・お返しものギフト【楽㠗 March 22, 2016 @ 11:53 pm

  5. Yes heavy promotion i think is the key. Thank you for your interesting information.

    Comment by Tube Mastermind — March 27, 2016 @ 9:39 pm

  6. Thank You this was very enlightening.

    Comment by Tube Mastermind — March 27, 2016 @ 9:40 pm

  7. Maintaining long term relationship with the customers by helping them to market their brands in an effective way is the prime objective of the team at VivaViews. Hence they make sure that you get the best quality service when you buy YouTube views real easy from vivaviews website. Satisfaction is assured when you buy theviews from the expert team due to the dedication and quality of work offered. You can be assured about the safety of the views provided by vivaviews as the team gets the job done by crowdsourcing at a global level who can easily promote your link with millions of users by the powerful social media tools.

    Comment by Social Media — November 14, 2016 @ 10:45 pm

  8. Same example we come around contrary, you have got lots of clients on the facility as perfectly as your facility is quite well-known when brand-new visitors see your video clip to know results of views on the video and scores of subscribers you need have your station than of program they might register your channel

    Comment by Kenneth — December 28, 2016 @ 4:36 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress