This tourism marketing web site claims staggering numbers for YouTube videos produced by it. So staggering that the view numbers for it on the front page of the site (subsequently suspended) EXCEED the view numbers for heavy weight YouTube producers such as eNCA, SABC News and News24.
One of my failings is that I have a highly tuned ‘bullshit meter’.
What irks me absolutely no end is to see bullshit at work and how gullible product owners are conned time after time into spending heaps of cash on the promise of ‘HUGE EXPOSURE ONLINE’.
One of my recent stumbles was onto a local web site displaying STAGGERING VIEWING numbers for videos produced and published to YouTube by Africa 7 (africaseven.org).
My jaw literally dropped to the floor as I saw view numbers in the MILLIONS being claimed for videos that were basically adverts and nothing else.
Then I looked at the numbers displayed on the front page of Africa 7 and saw that some of the videos were reported as having the EXACT SAME VIEW TOTALS namely 9,844,815 and 6,862,001 amongst others.
I am nothing if not fair so I closed the site and came back two days later to see if the numbers had changed – which they had NOT. “SURELY the reported numbers of views would change appreciably for such popular videos,” I asked myself.
So I dug a bit deeper into the Page Source to see the source of the numbers – maybe the code querying YouTube had failed? BUT, no the source code revealed that the source of the ‘view numbers’ was via the CSS file declaring a display for different <p> classes: <p class=”ViewsforVideoOne”></p> and so on – a programming sleight of hand which had NOTHING to do with sourcing the numbers from YouTube.
So – off I toddled to YouTube and compared the numbers reported on the Africa 7 web site with the actual numbers reported for the Africa 7 videos on YouTube – the source of the published videos.
AND, guess frigging what? The view numbers reported on the Africa 7 web site are NOWHERE CLOSE to the view numbers on YouTube.
As I said before – I am nothing but fair so I listed ALL the Africa 7 videos on YouTube and can tell you that there are 139 Videos on the site that have been viewed a total of 13 648 times (as at Saturday 3 September 2016).
So what is the problem I hear you ask?
Simple – I presume that the videos are all PAID FOR by the Tourism owners and I wonder just how much that price was elevated by ‘being economical with the truth’ saying that Africa 7 would get huge amounts of views as ‘evidenced’ by that front page sleight of hand?
By way of comparison the Top 100 South African YouTube producers can be found here: http://vidstatsx.com/youtube-top-100-most-viewed-south-africa-za – the producer in position one hundred with 24 videos and over 6 Million views is africansafarijournal. Africa 7 claims over 6 Million views for most of their videos BUT if you scrutinise the report YOU WILL NOT see Africa 7 reflected as a Top 100 producer.
Update 1: Four days after viewing the claimed YouTube video views on the Africa 7 web site I see that the claimed numbers HAVE increased BUT they still are the same for a mumber of videos.
Update 2: As at Wednesday 7 September 2016 I see that the AfricaSeven.org web site has been suspended.
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