Some videos genuinely explode.
Others do not.
If you want your video on YouTube to look more popular, you can pay someone to artificially inflate your view count using various not-so-legitimate means.
Of course, YouTube / Google can catch you, and yes, they catch even the big guys, in one case stripping the big record labels of billions of fake views:
Google slashed the cumulative view counts on YouTube channels belonging to Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, and RCA Records by more than 2 billion views Tuesday (December 21, 2012), a drastic winter cleanup that may be aimed at shutting down black hat view count-building techniques employed by a community of rogue view count manipulators on the video-sharing site.YouTube strips Universal and Sony of 2 billion fake views. The Daily Dot>>
Universal's channel is the one that took the biggest hit. According to figures compiled by the YouTube statistics analysts at SocialBlade, the record company's YouTube channel lost more than 1 billion views from its preexisting tally of 7 billion views Tuesday.