When people are trying to build a following and monetize their YouTube channels, they try to get views. Videos with more views lead people to believe that the video is worth watching. People have been buying views and getting fake views since the beginning of YouTube, but this trend has grown in recent years, and it questions the authenticity of all YouTube videos. If you are trying to find a video worth watching, you probably want to know how to tell if the views are fake.
YouTube’s algorithm used to rank videos according to views alone, but this is no longer the case, now the algorithm compares views to interactions. As a result, it is harder to get high rankings based on fake views. However, there are more workarounds that will get around this algorithm too. Continue reading to learn how to tell if YouTube views are fake.
Compare Views to Engagements
When you look at a YouTube video, check how many views it has compared to how many interactions. If the video has over a million views but only one or two comments, the views are most likely fake. The numbers give you the answer because if a video is worth watching for millions of people, a percentage of those people will have something to say about it.
There are some videos that are informative and don’t get the same level of engagement, so you may have to dig a little deeper. You can compare this video to others that are similar to see what the views to engagement ratio should be. When people buy fake views, they will end up with a lot of views but very little in terms of likes, dislikes, and comments.
Look at the Views Versus Watch Time
Another way to tell if the views are fake is to look at how many there are and compare it to the watch time. If you have a YouTube channel and are paying someone to promote your content, you will want to make sure that people are actually watching the video. Normally, you will see that people watch the video in the beginning, and there is a slow drop in viewers throughout the course of the video. You can find this in the Views Reports under Audience Retention.
If you look and see a huge drop in the beginning of the video, it is likely that the views are fake. When people are paid to watch videos, they only watch long enough to register the view, and then they move on to the next video.
Check the Traffic Sources
The traffic sources show you where viewers are coming from and how they get to the video. If this is your video, you can check the Traffic Sources in the Views Report in your YouTube Analytics. You can look at external website views to see which websites drove viewers to your video.
If the views are paid views, you might notice that the traffic is coming from an ad network. In addition, you might find views coming from a website that is not related to the content of the video. Any of these red flags indicate that the video has paid views.
Fake views have been a thing on YouTube since the beginning, but YouTube is trying to change the algorithm to make it more difficult. If you want to know whether a video has fake views, the best thing to do is to compare the views to the engagements. It is glaringly obvious that views are fake when you see millions of views and only one or two comments.
YouTube Analytics provides a lot of information that allows you to determine where traffic comes from and how legitimate the views are. If you are looking at your own videos, you have access to these tools.