Is it OK to buy views for YouTube videos?

The short answer is this: Buying YouTube views is a questionable and risky strategy that can work but that can also backfire. If you are thinking about buying views, do check out the article so that you can make an informed decision. The  article covers four questions:

  1. What is the purpose for buying views?
  2. Is the practice of buying views allowed according to YouTube’s Terms of Service?
  3. Can YouTube detect whether or not you are buying views?
  4. It it an effective way to build up your channel’s popularity?

1. Why do people buy YouTube views?

The purpose of buying views is to help hasten the natural, organic growth of your channel. Inflating your view count would make your videos appear more attractive. For example, if you see thumbnail links for two cover versions of the same song and one has 100,000 views while the other has 100 views, which link would you be more likely to click? Similarly, if you come across a channel with ten of thousands of subscribers, wouldn’t you be more likely to subscribe as well? Basically, buying views and subscribers is meant to attract more real viewers and subscribers in future.

2. Is buying views allowed under YouTube’s Terms of Service?

No. This is mentioned in this YouTube Policy Article: Fake Engagement Policy

YouTube doesn’t allow anything that artificially increases the number of views, likes, comments, or other metric either through the use of automatic systems or by serving up videos to unsuspecting viewers. Additionally, content that solely exists to incentivize viewers for engagement (views, likes, comments, etc) is prohibited.

Content and channels that don’t follow this policy may be terminated and removed from YouTube.

Important: If you hire someone to promote your channel, their decisions may impact your channel. Any method that violates our policies may result in content removal or a channel takedown, whether it’s an action taken by you or someone you’ve hired.

We consider engagement to be legitimate when a human user’s primary intent is to interact with content free of coercion or deception, or where the sole purpose of the engagement is financial gain.

If it is detected that you are buying views and/or subscribers, your account may be terminated. Additionally, the if the views are automated (i.e. from a bot), that would go against the Terms of Service (

3. Can YouTube detect bought views and subscribers?

A view-selling service CAN operate undetected, but channels buying views can often be easy to spot either through viewbot-generated activity or through anomalous viewership statistics (e.g., a huge and sudden spike in the number of subscribers).

Most view-selling services state that all bought views, comments and subscribers come from real people and are spread out over a period of time to avoid detection and will therefore be impossible to detect. However, this kind of business is already kind of shady—the business model is, after all, based on deception—so it is difficult to trust such statements 100%. Can you really guarantee that the human viewers the services hire always follow their instructions to the letter and will never take shortcuts? Can you guarantee that YouTube will not update it’s monitoring methods to catch behaviors that now go unseen?

Accounts do get terminated; it is not an empty threat.

It’s kind of like steroid use. Does it work? Yes. Can it be detected? Yes, if you are not careful. Can one evade detection? Yes, until the detection methods catch up with the doping methods. Is it worth the risk?

4. Is buying views an effective way to build up a channel?

To a certain extent, it does work. You will get those bought views, but will it lead to more views down the road?

It definitely did work in the past, especially if you were buying the hundreds of thousands of views that would propel your video to YouTube’s front page and the top of relevant search results. If you ask, you will find people who say, “Yeah, I bought views from Company X and everything was great. It really helped a lot.”

YouTube, however, operates differently now. It is now placing a lot more emphasis on things like watch time and viewer engagement when ranking search results and selecting recommended videos. If real views are being bought, it is likely these viewers will only watch a few seconds of each video. Under YouTube’s algorithms, this would be interpreted as either ‘this video is rubbish’ or ‘the title or thumbnail is misleading’ with the consequence being your videos disappearing from search results or recommendations. If this happens, you would be hurting your ability to attract new viewers and organically grow your view count, thereby defeating the purpose of buying the views in the first place.

You also need to bear a certain amount of risk. If YouTube detects suspicious activity on you videos it may simply reset the views of those videos to zero or it may terminate the account. I was just reading an interesting post on Google’s YouTube forum. The original poster had hired someone to get real views, but it was found that the freelance ‘promoter’ had used viewbots instead. It seems that the dispute has escalated to the point where the promoter is now trying to blackmail the original poster. Do you really need such trouble?


I would recommend against buying views, especially if you are in the partner program. For non-partners, you can consider the following question: “It is OK for me if the existence of my channel depends on the ability of a third party service (and the people it hires) to fulfill their promises?” For me personally, the risks would outweigh the benefits.

Postscript: Can YouTube’s rules be used against you?

Would it be possible for an enemy or rival to hire a service provider to send fake views to your channel and get your account terminated? Yes, it would. I guess the only thing to do is to be vigilant and if you see a sudden and unexplainable surge in views, report the matter on the Google YouTube forums immediately. You can consider taking the following protections to prevent your video from being removed. This advice comes from XXLRay on the YouTube Products Forum:

  • Set the video to private to prevent additional false views.
  • Use the feedback button on the bottom of your video editor menu to inform YouTube about your observations and counter actions. Tell them you are going to search pro-actively for the source and that you are going to make sure it will not happen again.
  • If your video is monetized inform AdSense as well by using their Invalid Clicks Contact Form. Users had their AdSense Account permanently terminated for invalid clicks in the past.
  • Once you took these “first aid” actions try to find out the source website for these views from your Youtube Analytics. Search the web for the depending contact data and tell the responsible [parties] to stop directing views to your channel. If they repeat their behaviour take legal action.
  • Note that this is no guarantee that YouTube won’t delete your videos. It’s just the best way to tackle the problem I can think of.
  • If your video got deleted anyway you may use the YouTube View Abuse Appeal Form. Make sure to describe the counter-actions you took to prevent the YouTube system from damage. (, accessed 13 March 2014)

~by longzijun


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13 thoughts on “Is it OK to buy views for YouTube videos?

  1. Youtube views work well only if they come from social platforms. If they come from bots or mobile views then YT may ban that channel.

    Moreover, if someone wants to rank their video, they must buy time watched (hi retention) views, since yt has a new algorightm now.

  2. I’ve often seen that fake view sellers telling that it will boost video ranking but thats not true. I recently tried it out myself.

    I made a simple video on dog training tips and uploaded on yt and then bought 5000 views from viewsboost but my video never ranked! so Its best to stay away from fake views and make good videos that have entertainment value.

    • It is not illegal, but it is against YouTube’s policy (and isn’t effective). I would recommend that you do not buy them (which I why I don’t have a list of where to buy them).

  3. The point behind buying views is to build social proof. If you think that using a service to get you views is doing anything other than padding your numbers then you are looking at it wrong. People don’t want to be the first at anything and services like buyviews allow you to appear more popular than the next guy.

    Remember, people are uploading over 300 hours of video to youtube every second, any advantage you can get, use it.

  4. YouTube basically made the playing field extremely unfair. So if you started a channel before 2014 you were able to get huge very fast by pumping your channel. Case and point Disneycollectorbr aka fun toyz collector. She botted her way to the top while closing comments and likes so you couldn’t tell if the views were bots. Now she is the highest rank on YouTube because everyone wants to know the magic of how her videos got so many views. They are / were fake people! But now with all the media attention she is HUGE and really making money.

    Fast forward to 2015. You can’t bot views so how is a person just starting out supposed to compete against those who own the top from bots??? It makes no sense! The guys who bought their way to the top now keep the top and the guys starting out have no way of getting through.

    Pewdiepie or whatever his name is. Same story. One day he magically flew to the top charts!? No way people. There’s no such thing as magic. He discovered buying views and did just that. Of course he will never say it. No one would admit it. Buying views is the only way to get notice in a place with millions of people competing for attention. Look at the channel history of these people. Suddenly views exploded. A definite sign of bought views. Even viral videos work like that! Ever wonder how a baby video goes viral no matter how stupid it is? Again there is no magic here. Here is the truth. You buy views your video gets noticed. Maybe not by YouTube recommended but by a blogger. By a website. Oh look this person has 5 million views. I wonder what it is….share share share. That’s how viral videos work. This is the harsh reality about YouTube and buying views.

    The only thing that YouTube did by changing algorithm in 2014 is to chop off the legs of anyone trying to start a new channel and gave anyone prior to the changes a 2,000 mile head start. That is the fact. If they wanted to change the way it sees views it should have reset everyone back to 0 period end of story. Now it’s completely unfair.

  5. I had an Adsense account and paid a promotion budget of 50 dollars for views and also share my kids videos on my daughter facebook fan page and boosted it’s views for 10 dollars. Could that have been why my account was suspended? I figured it was okay cause I purchased the views through YouTube.

    • Don’t think either of those things would cause a problem. Facebook promotions just put the video in front of more eyes. People still need to click on them voluntarily to count as views. What did your suspension notice say exactly?

      • We recently detected invalid activity om your AdSense ads, which is prohibited by AdSense Program Policies. As a result, we’ve temporarily suspended your account for 30 days. During this time, no ads will be served.
        Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest. Publishers may not ask others to refresh or click their Ads. This includes asking users to support your site, offering rewards to users for viewing ads or performing searches and promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior. Additionally, clicking your own ads, automated clicking tools or traffic source, robots, and other deceptive software are also prohibited. Please consult the AdSense Program Policies and Term & Conditions for more information about your responsibilities as an AdSense publisher.

        I need to know how do I find out where or why the invalid clicks come from and how can I prevent it. Can I blocked it or report when I see it so I won’t get in this situation again.

  6. This is what’s wrong with Youtube today, too many people trying to make money off it because of some of the top name people doing so. Except that youtube is now changing the way their monetization works, the snitching, er hero program, etc. It’s not worth it just make videos don’t worry about the monetization, make stuff people will like which is any drivel these days and people will sub/view. It’s only a matter of time before all the big channels that aren’t about music, or actual DIY vids get demonetized and they start either having to stop making them because they’re in it just for the money or they will just find other ways to support them.

  7. one thing is content is king and if you make good quality CONTENT on youtube people will see that and give you credits, and buying youtube views will help you alot through your youtube journey

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