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Viral Video Wannabe

How To Cheat on YouTube for More Views

I read an article a while back from about how to cheat your way to the top on YouTube. The article “revealed” some of the more fruitless forms of gaming the YouTube system.

The TechCrunch article most prominently focused on auto-refreshing. Auto-refreshing is when you install a plug-in that automatically refreshes your video page at a set interval of time. Let’s say you set it to refresh every five seconds. This means you’ll get twelve views every minute or 720 new views every hour. And you can leave this plug-in running in a background tab while you continue to surf.

Sure, auto-refreshing will help you move up the Most Viewed (Today) list on YouTube (and it’s not a new practice, a number of current YouTube Partners have admitted to auto-refreshing their own videos in the past), but these are all empty views. Most of us who invest the time that we do into creating online video content would prefer ten actual views to a hundred “fake” views any day. For most of us, the goal is to share our vision, our voice, or our thoughts with an interactive audience.

So, how do we obtain this audience, honestly, and without “cheating”?

To begin, there are no “for sure” methods to a successful online viral video, but we can stack the deck in our favor by keeping a few things in mind. For the rest of this article, I’m going to assume you have at least moderately good content. I could go on and on about proper lighting, audio levels and adequate acting – but let’s assume you’ve already got that down.

Okay, so your content is gold. You’ve got a great little video. You upload it and you’re done, right? How could this not take off?

Think about how you find the videos you watch online. I’d be willing to bet it’s one or more of the following three ways:

  1. You’re subscribed to the uploader. (If you’re Smosh, you’ve got nothing to worry about here. The rest of us still have more work to do though, so, read on.)
  2. Your friend sent you the link. (This would include emails, links left in chats, myspace bulletins and forum posts.)
  3. You found it during a search. (This would include Google or YouTube searches, as well as “related video” features, etc.)

So we can reasonably assume that if you find videos this way, so do others. Now there’s not much we can do about the first item. Either you have a subscriber base, or you don’t. But how to gain more subs is a topic for a future blog entry.

On the other hand, we can do something about item two; we can facilitate people receiving the links from others. First, we can be that other person. Embed your video in myspace bulletins. Embed it in your blog. Share your video link on social bookmarking sites like Digg/ and email it to your friends who might be interested.

Second, relative forums. One tip I never hear from those lecturing about “more views” is posting your video links on related forums. When I made my “Now That’s What I Call Emo” video, I created accounts on My Chemical Romance and Dashboard Confessional fan forums and posted links to the video there. For the iPwn video I wrote for LisaNova, I registered and posted on iPhone and computer gamer discussion forums.

Not only are forum posts links back to your video, but they are reaching a whole new audience for your videos. Just be smart and respectful about it, I wouldn’t have posted a link to my humorous iPwn video in a Tech Support forum, I specifically chose the General Discussion iPhone forums.

And our third avenue, online searches. Google indexes all YouTube videos in its popular search engine, but that doesn’t ensure your video will place highly within search results. There are a few simple SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tips that will help your videos rise above the others. First, titles and tags. Titles and tags seem to be the most important factor to Google when indexing videos. Descriptions seem to be secondary. When tagging your video, use broad and generic terms; instead of

“my friends and me riding on go-carts”


“go carts gocarts four wheeler sports extreme helmet race track offroad off road dirt bike xtreme insane”

Using popular, broad tags will ensure Google will return your video as a top result. Similar advice applies to the title, only, with a title, you need to make it intriguing as well. Instead of naming your video “My First Ride,” try “Insane Go-Cart Ridin’”. I’d much rather watch some insane go-cart ridin’ than a video about your first ride, even if they are the same video.

At the end of the day (or in YouTube time, at the end of the first forty-eight hours), the manipulated views won’t bring you any more subscribers, nor comments, nor interaction with the community. They’ll simply get you labeled a cheater by those ‘watchdogs’ who pay attention.

For more tips in the future, please subscribe to the RSS feed.

95 Responses to “How To Cheat on YouTube for More Views”

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    [...] post by Viral Video Wannabe [...]

  2. Julian (ItTakesII) Says:

    Again loved it. I am going to join some forums now of Miley Cyrus for my “interview” with her. Oh the terrible comments I am expecting … Your videos are great and my subscribers are just picking up now so this information is gold :D


  3. Jim Says:

    Refreshing on Youtube stops at 200 views….

  4. Mark Robertson Says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing

  5. Snailsformail Says:

    I’ve noticed that my videos have been embedded in a few sites like Q: If someone embeds my video on their website and it is viewed from their site without opening up YouTube do the views still register back in YouTube?

  6. JackPupple Says:

    Refreshing on Youtube stops at 200 views for you, but not for the “professional” cheater. With a little knowledge it’s easy to breake the 200 limit !

  7. pixonu Says:

    hmmmmm…. interesting *Evil laugh* :) :)

  8. Adam Says:

    so id thought id jumpstart my vid a little bit…so i did the whole refresh thing. i got to about 225 and its been there for a week
    and i am sure over 50 of my friends have seen it.
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    so my video has been stuck and now im fucked

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Viral Video Wannabe...

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…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
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for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!