According to ReadWrite.com, a man who goes by the name of spk claims that Google paid him to bot up the view counts on more than 20,000 videos and he did so to the tune of millions of views per video. If that is true, and there was advertising on those videos and there is no reason to believe there wasn’t, then Google was potentially overcharging their advertisers to the tune of millions of dollars. Supposedly, Google cracks down on websites that click on their own Google AdSense links. I see no difference between the two.
In this case, I have three questions that I would love the answer to:
- Why would Google do something as stupid as this? It would be easier and sneakier to change the numbers on the backend instead of hiring someone to do it using the interface and run the risk of them talking as spk supposedly is.
- Were they trying to make the videos seem more impressive or did they actually charge their advertisers for those fake views?
- Will Google’s advertisers take this opportunity to ask for their money back?
Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto has always bothered me. I can believe them trying to avoid evil, but does that motto leave too much wiggle room? Maybe they need to try on the motto “Be Good.” That’s the kind of motto that I can get behind. After all, I’m pretty sure that I could do a lot wrong before being evil.