Google is stepping up its efforts to stop what it calls "fraudulent" views on YouTube videos.
Google, which owns YouTube, said that reports of fake views on the video sharing website's videos have been brought to its attention recently.
Various tools are available online for people to redirect or buy views, with Google noting that there are a number of third-party marketing firms that will also try to sell content creators fake YouTube views for considerable sums.
It's unclear how many "fake" views YouTube videos have been racking up, but Google said that its incoming measures to monitor views should affect only a 'miniscule fraction' of video clips on the website.
Fake views are undermining what YouTube is all about, and the firm will step up its efforts to ensure that it doesn't continue, Google software engineer Philipp Pfeiffenberger said in a blog post:
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.
As part of our long-standing effort to keep YouTube authentic and full of meaningful interactions, we've begun periodically auditing the views a video has received. While in the past we would scan views for spam immediately after they occurred, starting today we will periodically validate the video's view count, removing fraudulent views as new evidence comes to light. We don't expect this approach to affect more than a minuscule fraction of videos on YouTube, but we believe it's crucial to improving the accuracy of view counts and maintaining the trust of our fans and creators.
Analysts have said that by stepping up its efforts, Google is trying to ensure that advertisers won't flock to other social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.