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Local Restaurant Falls Sharply Behind in Contest After Some Say Opponents Purchased Votes

Talk around town is that the restaurant currently in the lead in the contest purchased YouTube views because it went from less than 1,800 views to nearly 50 thousand nearly overnight. Find out why it could be true.

In recent weeks, the Florissant Patch Facebook page has been abuzz with talk of a local business that has the opportunity to help put Florissant on the map—and to help grow their dream in the process.

I’m talking about Jeff and Kristi Mullersman, owners of de.lish Cheesecake Bakery and Cafe in Old Town Florissant, who are nominees for a contest through Destination Guide's Best of St. Louis.

de.lish can win national coverage if the cafe gets the most votes by Feb. 4. All you have to do to cast your vote is to view an almost four-minute-long YouTube video.

The local favorite was at or near the top of the list in votes for weeks—but then, one day, another St. Louis area restaurant suddenly blasted up to the top of the list—receiving nearly 50 thousand votes literally overnight.

Help out your neighbors and the Florissant economy! View and share the de.lish video as often as you can through Feb. 4.

Word around the community is that the restaurant may have purchased YouTube views in order to capture the coveted first place spot.

Can You Really Purchase YouTube Views?

A rapidly-developing market has hit social media with a vengeance—and it involves paying people to increase your online popularity (or the appearance of it, anyway) by sending real or artificial viewers to their YouTube videos, among other venues and media types.

Companies such as Social Marketers and MediaBuzzed offer YouTube views, followers for various social accounts and more—all for a price, of course.

“It was a smart way to get more popularity before Google caught on to the trick,” according to a recent blog post from Telework USA.  “Some may consider this method of bolstering your career as cheating and others may consider it sly and a smart way to gain success.  Apparently, Google considered it cheating to buy Youtube views.”

So Did the Other Restaurant Really Buy the Views?

Unfortunately, there’s no way for us non-Google employees to know, but a blogger at BadMusicAllDay.com recently pointed out that getting a “ton of views but very few likes or comments” is the number one way to spot a fake YouTube video.

“For example, if a video has 50,000 views, it should have approximately 100-170 comments,” the blogger wrote. “Additionally, a fair assessment for ‘likes’ (or dislikes) should be about 1 for every 100 views.”

At the time of press, the other restaurant’s video showed 49,855 views and had just six comments—one from me. Also, the video had 150 likes—but according to the formula above, if the votes are legit, there should be nearly 500 likes.

What Do You Think?

Assuming this is true; do you believe that it’s cheating to purchase YouTube votes to win a contest? The restaurant had less than 1800 votes all month long, and then a few days before the contest ends, suddenly get 50K overnight--that part is true for sure. The rest is just conjecture.

View and share the de.lish video as often as you can through Feb. 4.

How do you feel about this situation? Do you think the other restaurant’s owners cheated and purchased YouTube views to take the top spot in the contest, or did they just get lucky one night? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Angela Atkinson February 02, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Thanks for sharing your comments, Jeff. I know that many people in and around the Florissant community love your restaurant (myself included), and I think in addition to the awesome food, you and your wife and your friendly attitudes make people want to come back. I think you're looking at this exactly the right way. I believe your day is coming, and soon! :)
Angela Atkinson February 02, 2013 at 04:23 AM
I don't know whether the contest specifically states that, but Google considers it cheating. I think in this case it's an ethical question more than anything else.
Angela Atkinson February 02, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Steven, I agree with your wife, but I also agree with you on this one.
Angela Atkinson February 02, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Kudos Jeff!
Steven Siemsen February 11, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I know the contest is done and over with. But I wanted to make one more comment and ask people to think. This is really more a general thought than a direct comment on this situation. How many contests is it considered allowable to buy votes? What would we all say if the local mayor or governor or POTUS was found to have paid people to vote for him? If you were up for a promotion at work and somebody else got it because they slipped the hiring manager a little something, would we happy about that or approve and walk up and congratulate the guy. I think the answer probably for most people would be no. Please really think about the getting ahead at all costs attitude. Can you really be proud of winning something through cheating? Is that really an accomplishment? Why can't you work your hardest, try your best and let the chips fall were they may? And just because everyone else is doing it is not justification for you to do. Didn't your mom ever ask you, "If all you friend decided to jump off a bridge, would you"?

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