Youtube today announced that they have started to “audit” the number of views that a video receives. The decision is based around the problem of users artificially inflating their view counts, which Youtube claim, mislead people about the popularity of a video.

Viewers have in the past been warned against generating views through automated means or by forcing and/or tricking viewers into watching videos. According to Youtube these methods could include:

  • Purchasing views from third-party websites
  • Deceptive layouts on third party websites that trick viewers into playing a video when they click unrelated elements on the page
  • Serving pop-unders: a new window that appears under a current window
  • Redirects: when the URL changes and sends the viewer to a new page in the middle of a click

However Youtube stated that they will now “periodically” validate the views on videos and remove any fraudulent ones.

So how will this affect the digital advertising space? Analysts believe that the move will greatly benefit advertisers, as not only will it put all videos back on a even playing field, it will allow firms, agencies etc. to reach a more genuine audience. So, for example, advertisers will be able to see the true effect of their video campaigns before making decisions based on false data, in turn missing their actual audience and generating little return on investment.