Can YouTube Detect Fake Views?

YouTube is the internet’s most popular video hosting site, with billions of users and over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. With this type of popularity, there will always be people looking to game the system with fake views, but can YouTube detect fake views?

The platform has been plagued for years with the problem of fake views. It only takes a couple of dollars to buy thousands or more YouTube Views from spammy companies to make your video seem more popular than it really is, after all. So, in short, yes, YouTube can detect fake views.

Can Youtube Detect Fake Views

How Does Buying Fake YouTube Views Work?

As soon as someone decides they want their video to go viral overnight – or want more views than usual – they start purchasing fake views in bulk from websites (that I shall not be naming), and they send views to that video.

It doesn’t matter what type of service you purchase; no matter how “legit” they may seem, they are all scams and won’t provide lasting results.

Most of these services use bots to generate views quickly for customers, and others try to brand their service as “real views” because they may have a network of users that watch your videos.

Some services even have options to hide buying YouTube views by using a drip feed. This means the video doesn’t receive all purchased views simultaneously but over a few hours, days, or weeks.

If you’re in the market for buying fake YouTube views, you’ll probably also come across plenty of scammy sites saying that their views are undetectable by YouTube.

Can YouTube Detect Fake Views?

The short answer is yes, YouTube can detect fake views.

YouTube has been battling the scourge of fake views since its inception in 2005; they’ve come a long way from manually removing spam videos (which could be done en masse) and deleting them by hand. 

These days, YouTube has automated ways to identify spammy behavior in videos, including using fake views.

Nobody actually knows (outside of YouTube themselves) how they detect fake views, but if we consider how YouTube works, we can make an educated guess that they look at these main things:

  • Your Views per Hour (VPH) ratio.
  • The IP addresses of where views are coming from.
  • The watching habits of said IPs.
  • How long views are on your videos.
  • The traffic sources that these views come from and data tracking.

Does YouTube Allow Fake Views?

YouTube’s Fake Engagement Policy explicitly states that the platform does not allow artificial or misleading engagement.

The policy states, “YouTube doesn’t allow anything that artificially increases the number of views, likes, comments, or other metrics by using automatic systems or serving up videos to unsuspecting viewers. Also, content that solely exists to incentivize viewers for engagement (views, likes, comments, etc.) is prohibited.”

As you can see, purchasing fake YouTube views falls perfectly into this category, and you should not do it unless you want your account and YouTube channel to be banned.

How Fake Views Actually Stop Your Channel Growth

Artificial views have a massively negative impact on your channel regarding YouTube recommendations and suggestions that can help your channel grow organically.

When you purchase these fake views, the bots or possibly even real people who watch the videos will not watch any of your future or existing videos.

This means that when you upload a video to YouTube, it will be pushed to the accounts that are most likely to engage with your channel (the fake views), and these accounts won’t watch your videos because they have no incentive to do so.

YouTube will read this as your content is poor, so that it won’t promote it to any other viewers, even your real subscribers, and viewers.

Did PewDiePie Buy Fake Views?

No, he didn’t. Some publications are spreading false assumptions based on some statements Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) made a couple of years ago. The statement was that “everybody who gets big on YouTube has a little boost from here or there.”

Many publications falsely interpret this as buying YouTube views, whereas anyone active on YouTube knows that this is referencing the YouTube algorithm making a video go viral and collaborations and shout-outs from other creators.

While his channel has a lot of inactive subscribers, this is normal for a large channel that has been active for as long as PewDiePie has been.

Most people’s interests change, the content on the channel changes, and people lose interest without removing channels they no longer watch.

Can You Buy YouTube Views Legally?

You can actually buy YouTube views legitimately through ads on the platform. They will not be cheap, and you will most likely be better off investing your time and money in creating better content.

Buying fake YouTube views is against YouTube’s TOS, and you are risking your channel with no upside apart from potentially a bit of clout to say you have X views on your video.

Although, it will be quite embarrassing when those views inevitably get removed when YouTube does one of their regular fake subscriber and fake view purges.

Or they may remove your channel and ban you from the platform altogether.

My advice is to work on building a natural viewer base. If you happen to sell a product, driving YouTube ads to a video on that product can be very helpful, but in most other cases, you should stick to the organic route.

Final Thoughts on Fake YouTube Views

The most important thing to remember about fake views is that no matter how many you purchase, they will have absolutely no effect on your channel growth or the number of subscribers that watch your videos.

They will not help you get more likes, comments, or subscribers either because the bots don’t engage with your content, and YouTube won’t promote videos with fake views.

You’d be much better off working on improving the SEO for your video titles, tags, descriptions, and more for natural views from real viewers who watch your videos naturally.

One of the best tools for video optimization is TubeBuddy; better yet, the browser extension is free.

Tubebuddy Free Extension


What Are Fake Views On YouTube?

Fake views on YouTube are a way to increase the view count of a video artificially. These views are often achieved through bots playing the video, but some places also use real people. The views aren’t considered real because the viewer is not engaged in the content.

Can I Watch My Own YouTube Videos?

Yes, you can, but only once. If you watch your video repeatedly to inflate its view count, the additional views will all be removed eventually, as YouTube can see that the views are coming from your account.

Is Legit?

No, is not a legitimate way to grow your channel. They sell views and subscribers, but these viewers will not help your channel grow or reach your audience, like all these businesses selling fake views.

Can YouTube Detect Fake Subscribers?

YouTube can detect fake subscribers and regularly purges accounts of fake subscribers. This is why you may see a large channel with millions of subscribers suddenly loses hundreds of thousands of subscribers overnight. These are mostly inactive accounts being removed.

David Woutersen

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David Woutersen

David is the founder of and has been in the social media industry since 2017. Since then, his mission has been to help others take control of their online presence. For some, this has been earning an income online; for others, it's teaching how to use social networks more effectively. And each year, he continues to help millions with strategy, troubleshooting, and inspiration.

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