Google is starting to crack down on fraudulent views on YouTube in order to keep the video site authentic.
“When some bad actors try to game the system by artificially inflating view counts, they’re not just misleading fans about the popularity of a video, they’re undermining one of YouTube’s most important and unique qualities,” Google software engineer Phillipp Pfeiffenberger writes on the Google Online Security blog.
Sometimes people will pay for views, which is why Google has started to periodically audit the views a video receives. But another reason for the audit is likely because YouTube is trying to compete against traditional TV for advertising dollars.
Before Google agreed to have YouTube measured under Nielsen’s TV-plus-online ratings service, advertisers could not really gauge how their YouTube ads were performing in relation to ads on traditional TV.
Now that YouTube is in a more appealing position to advertisers, it can’t afford to jeopardize its business with fake views. YouTube needs to be able to assure advertisers that their ads are being seen by real people.
Leading up the charge will be Susan Wojcicki, Google’s SVP of Ads & Commerce, who just got appointed to take over at YouTube. Last year, YouTube reportedly generated up to $US5.6 billion in ad revenue.