Now this is the ultimate in black hat video marketing. In the latest video from user johnst172 (Toronto agency john st.'s channel), who brought us "Catvertising," we see a fictional company called "Buyral" which has everyone from "professional clickers" to very young kids to the elderly clicking on videos to beef up a video's "viral" views and guarantee a 'viral' hit. And the horrifying (and hilarious) part is that they're not done there. This video makes light of actual companies out there who promise virality and make outrageous claims they can make a video go viral, guaranteed, provided you just pay a simple fee.
'Buyral' - Extreme Tactics to Pump Up 'Viral' Video Views
This video gets more and more ridiculous as it goes, and it brings up a good question that everyone wanting views should answer: How can a company promise a lot of views without being shady?
"Buyral" doesn't stop there. There's even a legit-looking website you can go to where you'll see this:
You've got to love a chart like this that goes through the trouble of adding little details like the "add to cart" button and oh, look at that, there's a sale on the 5 million view plan! You've also got to love a scale in which your "Best Deal" is 1900% better than the cheapest plan.
Obviously, many companies get duped into these kinds of services all the time. You should always raise a red flag when someone "promises" or "guarantees" views.
This video's content is hilarious but one thing that YouTube has done in the past year is to focus more on engagement, rather than views. And many of the top YouTube stars saw their view counts go down due to all the changes, one change of which I've speculated to be what even constitutes a view. Mere clicking doesn't get you a view, there has to be a length of engagement involved.
By the way, if you've never seen it, here's johnst172's "Catvertising:"