How to Spot Fake YouTube Subscribers

YouTube is the second-best social media platform in the world, just next to the all-popular Facebook. It has over 2.2 billion users worldwide, watching billions of hours of videos. This large audience base is certainly very attractive for brands and people who would like to expand their market and increase their income.

The next aspect that marketers look for is the subscriber count (known as ‘followers count’ on other social media sites). They want content creators who already have a sizeable following and/or viewers for maximum brand exposure.

As for viewers, they tend to watch videos of channels that are already popular. They base the popularity level on the number of subscribers and video views the channel has. People assume that the higher these numbers are, the better the video content the channel produces. Nobody wants to waste their time watching poorly made videos, right? 

But, with billions of people accessing YouTube regularly, how are we to know if a channel’s subscriber count is real or just populated by fake accounts? We’re here to tell you how to do a fake subscriber check and much more useful info, so read on.

​​And when you’re finished, take a look at our other YouTube guides:

What Is a YouTube Audit?

A YouTube audit is an in-depth look into a YouTube channel’s overall performance. The process analyzes the channel’s profile and video data for relevant info. This information is essential in making new decisions and content for the channel’s growth.

It is the channel owner’s or the brand manager’s responsibility to execute a YouTube audit regularly. It’s usually done once or twice a year to maintain the channel’s quality and ensure that they are meeting the channel’s goals.

Why Should You Audit Your YouTube Channel?

If you own or manage a YouTube channel, it is important to do audit checks. It’s like getting your biometrics to assess if you’re nearer to your fitness goals. If you don’t look at your stats, you won’t know if you’re doing well or not.

Checking your data helps you understand who your main audience is. You’ll know how viewers behave and interact on your channel. You’ll also see which types of videos are popular by looking at which ones get more views and longer engagement.

Once you get a regularly updated assessment of your YouTube channel, you can better plan for future content and changes to your marketing strategies.

What Does a YouTube Audit Contain?

When doing a YouTube audit, there are two areas you will need to assess: the channel profile and the videos. For each area, we’ll discuss the details you need to look at.

Channel Audit

This is where you analyze your channel homepage and information.

  • Branding – This part is how your brand is presented to your audience. This includes your profile photo, banner, channel trailer, and watermark.
  • Layout – This part dictates how your channel homepage elements are arranged. You can add sections for videos, featured playlists, and other channels you are promoting. You can rearrange the elements to make your homepage look appealing to channel visitors.
  • Featured videos – This is the part where you can figuratively put your best foot forward. Create a great impression on your channel visitors by putting on display your most recent and most popular videos. You can also put the most relevant videos to your channel niche. This gives your channel a more streamlined feel.

Video Audit

This is the analysis of your videos’ performance. You can set the date range to see daily, weekly, monthly, or the lifetime performance of your videos.

  • Views – This shows how many times the video was played.
  • Engagement – This compiles the total number of hours viewers watched your videos. It gives you the average duration that people watch your videos. You can also see the top videos and top playlists that received the most watch time.
  • Reach – This shows you where viewers saw your videos. The traffic source types include Browse features, YouTube search, Playlists, External sources, and more. It will give you an idea of where your videos get the most reach.
  • Audience – This section reveals information about your viewers; their gender, age, location, what time they are on YouTube, and what are the other videos they watched. This gives you an idea of who your main audience is.
  • Subscribers – This part reveals how many people subscribed and unsubscribed to your channel. This is the juiciest part we need to look at to determine the genuineness of the channel’s subscribers.

How to Spot Fake Subscribers?

After knowing how to audit a YouTube channel, here’s the fun part: spotting the fake subscribers. You will need to use the data from the audit of views, engagements, and the number of subscribers.  

Look at the subscriber graph of the channel. If there are sudden upward spikes in the number of new subscribers, it’s worth checking out which video was uploaded at that time. If the corresponding video didn’t get as many views, then the channel is suspected of buying fake subscribers.

If the subscriber count suddenly dropped, it is most likely that YouTube has done a sweep to eliminate fake and bot accounts. The removal of these spam accounts has decreased the number of subscribers of channels. 

  1. Check the number of views on the channel’s featured videos. If this number is far less than the number of views on his recent uploads, then this raises suspicion. The channel could be getting fake views.
  2. Look at the engagement in the channel videos. If there are lots of comments that are non-sense or unrelated to the video, then the channel is probably just paying for bot engagements.

If you don’t have access to the channel information, you can use third-party apps, like NOX Influencer or Flowmetrics, to view these numbers. Once you have the data, you can start the process of deduction.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy YouTube Subscribers?

Getting a huge number of subscribers is essential in monetizing your YouTube account. This would let you earn money using AdSense and put you under the radar of marketers.

However, using fake subscribers as the foundation of your channel is extremely risky.

Firstly, YouTube does a regular screening of spam accounts on the platform. If your channel is found guilty of acquiring services to inflate your views and subs, then you are in danger of getting banned.

Next, you may get the chance to monetize your account by achieving the required watch hours and number of subscribers through questionable means. But, once you need to earn from views, you can’t simply bank on fake views. You’ll be losing money instead of gaining it.

Buying fake followers defeats the purpose of developing a YouTube channel. It’s better to just stick to good practices to organically grow your brand.

How to Gain Quality YouTube Subscribers?

Getting genuine views and subscribers is the hardest part of starting a YouTube channel. But with diligence and discipline, you can make your channel succeed. Follow these tips to gain a solid subscriber base.

1. Create Great Content

Anyone can make a video nowadays even with just a phone cam. However, set your channel apart by investing in high-definition cameras, good-sounding microphones, and some proper lighting. These investments are the small sacrifices you need for more financial gain in the future.

Users usually go on YouTube in search of answers to their questions, how-to’s, and music. Concentrate on a niche topic and provide relevant content to give people what they want.

Partner quality equipment with useful and informative content, then you’ve got yourself a winner. Viewers appreciate good quality videos and will certainly subscribe to come back for more content.

2. Collaborate with Other YouTubers in Your Niche

Another popular way of gaining subscribers is to produce videos with other content creators. Collaboration videos expose you to each other’s viewers. When your partner’s followers like you, they can subscribe to your channel to view more of your work and vice versa.

It’s a win-win situation with nothing to lose. So, go ahead and book a collab soon.

3. Optimize Your YouTube Channel

So, you’ve uploaded quality videos but still not getting many views? Then you should probably make sure to optimize your YouTube channel and videos. This puts your content on top of searches and recommendations. This puts you in front of the audience who are interested in what you have.

To optimize your channel:

  • Use the top keywords in searches related to your niche. Integrate those in your channel description.
  • Link your external website or eCommerce store. This drives traffic to your main page which could lead to conversions.  

To optimize your videos:

  • Use relevant keywords in your video title and description.
  • Include hashtags in the description that are related to your topic.

In Conclusion

Once you do a YouTube audit, fake subscribers will be evident. There’s no escape from being found out that a channel is buying fake viewers. Everything they have done would just be a waste of time.

Instead, put all efforts into following the best practices to grow your YouTube channel. You won’t fail if you do.

Anne Haynes
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