Do a quick Google search for Virool today (at time of writing) and the only returns you’ll see are their own sponsored ad and social network pages. Why? Well it appears that Google has decided that the high number of back-links added to their site in such a short time deserved a disciplinary measure – and removed it from the index.
UPDATE: Virool informed us on March 17 2014 that they have been re-listed by Google
But there may still may be more to this story than meets the eye. Virool received $6.62 million in seed funding last year and markets itself as a way to buy YouTube video views. So does the punishment metered out by Google have anything to do with their recent announcement that they were going to step up their crackdown on inflated YouTube views?
In a recent blog post Google said: “Since YouTube views are so important, it’s no surprise that an ecosystem of businesses has evolved around artificially helping creators get YouTube views, likes, and subscribers. YouTube isn’t just a place for videos, it’s a place for meaningful human interaction. When some bad actors try to game the system by artificially inflating view counts, they’re not just misleading fans about the popularity of a video, they’re undermining one of YouTube’s most important and unique qualities,”
Obviously advertising revenue is increasingly important for YouTube, and fraudulent views hurt its credibility. It warns users about inflating or purchasing video views in its usage terms. So did Google find more than just bad back-links to help make a decision to remove Virool from search. If I’m looking to build my brand in YouTube and Google, maybe I should be careful about my choice of Video Ad placement agency?