Can YouTube Detect Fake Views?

YouTube is the most popular video hosting site on the internet, 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.

This article explores some of the reasons why people buy fake views, can YouTube detect fake views, and the consequences of buying fake views (spoiler alert, there’s no upside).

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 a scam and won’t provide lasting results.

The majority 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 actually do watch your videos.

Some services even have options to try and hide buying YouTube views by using a drip feed. This means the video doesn’t receive all of the purchased views at once, but over a few hours, days, or even 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, but 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 the use of 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.
Can YouTube detect fake views

Does YouTube allow fake views?

YouTube’s Fake Engagement Policy explicitly spells out that the platform does not allow any type of artificial or misleading engagement.

The policy states, “YouTube doesn’t allow anything that artificially increases the number of views, likes, comments, or other metrics either 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 how 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 in terms of the 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 videos or existing videos.

This means that when you upload a video to YouTube, it will be pushed to the YouTube 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 it won’t promote it to any other viewers, even your real subscribers, and viewers.

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 any videos that have fake views.

You’d be much better off investing your time 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, and better yet, the browser extension is free.

TubeBuddy Free Extension


Can I watch my own YouTube videos?

Yes, you can, but only once.
If you watch your video repeatedly in order to inflate its view count, the additional views will all be removed eventually as YouTube can see that the views are coming from your own account.
Even if you watch your video on a different YouTube account, YouTube can see that all of those views are coming from the same IP address.

Did PewDiePie buy fake YouTube views?

No, he didn’t. There are some publications spreading false assumptions based upon some statements Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) made a couple of years ago.
The statement made was along the lines of “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 that has actually been 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 I buy YouTube views?

You actually can buy YouTube views legitimately through ads on the platform. They will not be cheap and you will in most cases 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.

David Woutersen

Article by

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, while 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.