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Advertisers Also Pay For Bot-Made Fake Views on YouTube, Report • Mirror Daily

(Mirror Daily, United States) – During its growth over the past decade, YouTube has become a well-oiled machine when it comes to advertising, but a glitch was recently discovered during an European research.

The Google-owned video platform is preferred by a lot of advertising companies because of its wide reach – more than 300 million accounts – and because of the useful tools that provide real-time statistics for easy monitoring. But researchers have discovered that even though YouTube is pretty good at differentiating the fake views and it doesn’t display them, advertisers are still charged for them.

Five video sharing websites, including YouTube, were evaluated by a group of experts from Imdea, NEC Labs Europe, Polito, and UC3M regarding their fake view detection systems. Interestingly enough, YouTube has two different counts of video views.

There’s the public view count which displays publicly the number of times the video has been watched; and there’s the monetized view count that is set to evaluate the advertising charges.

In order to test the systems, researchers has some videos uploaded on the platforms, bought ads via Google AdWords, and then installed some bots to target 150 fake views. Even though YouTube had detected some of them and only listed 25 views in the public counter, Google AdWords still had the researchers pay for 91.

The team thinks this glitch could be a turn-off for brands which would want to invest on YouTube. In the end, the company’s detection mechanism for fake monetized views is rather permissive, which can lead to advertisers relying on inaccurate statistics for their advertisement campaigns.

The Silicon Valley company was made aware of this report, and the leadership is eager to respond to the researchers’ call for more transparent analytics. A YouTube spokesperson said they intend to improve performance based on a collaboration with the European researchers.

Same spokesperson emphasized the importance YouTube puts on removing invalid traffic from their platform, an issue that involves a significant investment in relevant technology and a team that keeps it away. Their response included a reassurance that the vast majority of fake views on YouTube are filtered out before advertisers are charged.

In spite of this incident, YouTube has a rather clean record as a highly credible advertising platform, and advertisers use it diligently. Monitoring advertising campaigns on YouTube is not very complicated, and plenty of small-time entrepreneurs and emerging brands have been discovered through their video platform.
Image Source: Bit Rebels

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