January 4, 2013
email this article
tweet this article
share this article
Google has taken action against the large number of ‘fake’ YouTube views from music industry giants, which include Sony/BMG, RCA records and Universal. In an effort to enforce its ‘Viewcount Policy’, YouTube cracked down on by removing billions of video views from over 500 artists including Rihanna, Michael Jackson and Justin Beiber.
What determines a ‘fake’ YouTube view is using deceptive methods to raise viewership, known as ‘black hat’ techniques. These techniques manipulate YouTube views by tricking people into to watching a video, such as a misleading embedding of a video, that leads away from intended content and pop-unders, which appears as a pop-up advertisement underneath a web browser and forces a view.
It has been known for black hat marketers to offer thousands of views for next to nothing, although a message posted by Stefan Vraspir on YouTube’s Partners & Creator forum warns:
“If you are going to contract someone to help promote your content, it should be someone you absolutely trust, as you may be putting the fate of your channel (and your business on YouTube) in their hands. If they are using methods that aren’t within our terms, you will be the one to pay the price, as it will be your videos and your channel that get taken down.”
It is understandable with the ever-changing digital music industry this may have been perceived as a strategy to tackle piracy. YouTube is seen as the worldwide unofficial charts, making music video views valuable, which is an obvious indication for the number of inflated fake views. But by using methods that violate YouTube’s ToC, the music industry has truly suffered most.
In violation of this policy, YouTube views can be retracted from videos, videos may be removed and even delete your account. Universal and Sony have been made an example of, Universal having billion of views removed and Sony’s channel left bare with only three videos on their channel. It sounds like Google has sent out a clear message, it’s time for unethical YouTube marketers to hang up their hats.