While video is the favorite content of Internet users and 46 million French users visit YouTube each month, this social platform seems to be a godsend for companies wishing to increase their notoriety.
But unlike Facebook or Instagram, YouTube’s algorithm is still nebulous and pushes some to cheat to increase their visibility. Although buying views is against the rules and may have consequences, it is a common practice.
Discover in this article why you should not buy views on YouTube and how to grow your channel naturally.
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Can you buy views on YouTube?
It is possible to buy thousands of views cheaply to inflate the public statistics of a YouTube channel. Although buying views is a real deal and many companies offer guaranteed “risk-free” views, this practice is fraudulent since it is completely against the rules of the platform.
Why Buy YouTube Views?
The networks return strong social indicators that often push content creators to cheat. While the race for followers is launched on Instagram, it is the number of views that takes precedence on YouTube.
After all, isn’t the point of a YouTube video to get it viewed? The number of views would even be a growth driver since it would attract viewers and insist the YouTube algorithm to highlight the content.
Indeed, views are an indicator of popularity. This is why many people resort to buying views:
- The personalities to confirm their fame;
- Musicians to launch their career;
- Politicians to conquer a new public;
- Influencers to develop their audience or buzzer.
So there are good reasons to buy views, but is it really effective? Before giving a concrete answer to this question, it is important to understand the nature of the views purchased. On this subject, we distinguish between “true views” and “false views”.
The fake views are simply from bots (robots). YouTube spots bots very easily, so buying this type of view is risky.
The real views, on the other hand, come from “real accounts” YouTube, or at least accounts that the platform considers as such. The goal here is to make these views appear as natural views, so they can take several days or even weeks to arrive.
If YouTube may not notice the deception, the lack of engagement of purchased views can still put a flea in his ear: a video that does not generate thousands of views, but no comment or like is necessarily suspicious.
Although buying views can provide significant social proof, it is still a practice that should not be recommended.
3 reasons not to buy YouTube views
1 – Purchased views do not correspond to real views
Although some companies offer to buy “real views”, these do not come from users who are actually interested in the content offered to them. They are only “real” in the eyes of YouTube’s algorithm. This leads to a problem of engagement and distorted statistics about the effectiveness of the video.
This type of views is only intended to inflate the social proof of the account and does not improve the effectiveness of the video: if its content is bad, it will remain so despite the views purchased. It’s better to have a small, engaged audience than a completely bogus one.
2 – YouTube punishes cheaters
The platform is formal, it prohibits any practice aimed at artificially increasing the number of views of videos in its rules and sanctions cheaters.
The penalties are more or less substantial:
- If YouTube finds bogus accounts, it removes them and any actions they have taken (views, comments, and likes);
- If the majority of views on a video are fake and accounts are deleted, the video will lose its views;
- If the video is monetized, the earnings will not be returned;
- YouTube may remove content that has violated the platform’s guidelines;
- YouTube can go so far as to delete the account that cheated.
It is also important to note that YouTube strictly prohibits videos that promote fraudulent services such as buying views. This type of content is systematically deleted.
3 – Fake views harm a channel’s credibility
The number of views that acts as social proof is therefore an indicator of quality. But the boost brought by the purchase of views can quickly be spotted and therefore harm the credibility of the creator since he is cheating.
Moreover, many scandals have erupted, particularly in the sphere of French Hip Hop in which it is common to buy views to boost the release of a title or accelerate the rise of a new artist. Master Gims spoke in 2018 on SnapChat and “was surprised to see so many artists get millions of views on YouTube without managing to fill Bercy”. If rappers are often singled out, they are not the only ones to cheat on social networks. Kim Kardashian lost nearly a million followers in a single day when Instagram deleted 300 million fake accounts.
Tips for gaining views naturally
In addition to being a practice that goes against YouTube rules, it is certain that buying views cannot be considered a viable strategy for growing a channel. Of course, the quality of the video is one of the first criteria to respect to gain views naturally. However, other actions can be considered.
Clearly define the target audience
There are thousands of different channels and topics on YouTube. Users come to the platform for three reasons:
- Have fun;
- Cultivate ;
- Solve a technical problem.
As with any other communication medium, it is important to clearly define the target audience on YouTube to better understand the expectations of future viewers and their problems. This information then makes it possible to identify what content to create, in what format and for what purpose.
For this, it is useful to create personas.
Optimize videos for the search engine
Although a streaming platform, YouTube is also a search engine. Like any search engine, the algorithm has a referencing system.
Optimizing your videos for searches is therefore a way to ensure the acquisition of views naturally. As with SEO, it is first necessary to do keyword research. Keyword Tool is arguably the best tool to do this, but you can also use other tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush.
When the keywords are identified, it is necessary to use the metadata of the video to optimize it:
- The title of the video;
- The text of the description;
- The hashtags.
Of course, this technique works especially for informational content (popularization or tutorial) and will be less effective for purely entertaining content. However, metadata can help YouTube understand the theme of the video and offer it as a suggestion for similar and more popular videos.
Here, it must be taken into consideration that YouTube’s goal is to keep its users on its platform as long as possible. With this in mind, the algorithm continues to offer them content to maintain their attention. These proposals are made from the videos that they come to or that they usually watch.
The thumbnails do not directly affect the SEO of the video, but they have the merit of arousing the curiosity of users. Indeed when the video is offered to the user, the thumbnail and the title are their only two elements that will allow him to decide if the content seems interesting or not.
It is therefore advisable to generate several thumbnails and test their effectiveness.
Establishing partnerships with other channels is a great way to make yourself visible to a new audience.
Partnerships can be made between two channels whose themes are similar or complementary. The most effective being to be invited on the other channel in order to have the attention of an already loyal audience.
Promote videos on other networks
If you already have an audience on another social network, then you can promote your channel there. For example, the content can be condensed to make a reel on Instagram, or an excerpt can be broadcast as a story.
The use of advertising on Facebook or Instagram can also be a channel to exploit, this one not going against the rules of the platform.
This article has just presented the dangers of buying views on YouTube and 6 relevant tips to grow your channel naturally.
To take it a step further, download this free template for setting up a YouTube strategy to grow your channel.