Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s online video site YouTube is the third most popular website in the world. Every month, people around the world spend more than six billion hours watching videos on YouTube. But a significant chunk of those eyeballs aren’t real. So Google has announced that it will take stern action against channels that artificially inflate their view counts.
The irony with Google
Philip Pfeiffenberger, a YouTube software engineer, said in an official blog post that people who trick the system by artificially inflating video views mislead fans by faking the popularity of a video. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has made several changes in the past to spot inflated counts. But the search engine giant has gone a step further. Now the company will be validating the view counts of videos periodically, and eliminate fraudulent views as new evidence comes. Pfeiffenberger said the move will affect only a minuscule fraction of YouTube videos.
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In November, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) warned channel owners that paying third parties to artificially increase the video views is against its policies, and the company may take disciplinary action including suspension of your account. It seems a bit funny that those third party businesses get traffic from Google itself. Just enter “buy YouTube views” in Google search, and you’ll find thousands of such businesses that offer to increase your video views artificially for a pay. In fact, many of them pay Google to advertise their business using AdWords.
Google wants to assure advertisers
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s decision to go after fake view counts is aimed at making YouTube more lucrative to advertisers. It will assure advertisers that their ads are seen by real people. Analysts say YouTube alone is worth about $50 billion. Anyway, YouTube isn’t the only online platform where channel owners have the option to buy fake views. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Likes and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) followers (of course, fake) are also buyable. Research showed last year that there are more than 20 million fake Twitter accounts created by businesses that sell followers.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares inched up 0.16% to $1,145 in pre-market trading Thursday.