Playing Nice With YouTube

Clearly YouTube is the largest video sharing site on Earth.  And since being purchased by search engine late in 2006, there has been much speculation as to the direction that google would take with YouTube.  For years, many marketers (myself included) have been using YouTube very successfully to generate lots of traffic.  Unfortunately, many marketers have overstepped their bounds, and have abused YouTube’s Terms of Service by creating multiple accounts, overloading tags and keywords at the expense of content, using “friend getter” type applications, and a host of other “black hat” tactics.  Sadly, many of today’s top marketers and trainers have even promoted these tactics.

google is now used to being the biggest child on the block.  If you have any experience with search engine AdWords, you comprehend that search engine is constantly changing their algorithms to improve their services.  What this often means is that advertisers (read: us marketers) are constantly having to adjust to these changes, knowing that it is part of the price we pay for acomplishment.

A couple of weeks ago, YouTube got into the bullying act.  In an effort to enforce their Terms of Service, THOUSANDS of YouTube accounts were SHUT DOWN without warning.  Most of these accounts were owned by Network Marketers.  Many of these were famous Top Earners….people that I communicate with regularly.  Most of these people had no recourse, and have now lost thousands of hours of work and goodwill that was accumulated on their channels.  very scary.  I’ve only heard of a couple of extreme cases where YouTube reinstated accounts, and that was after many of the offending videos were deleted.

The obvious lesson here is that black-hat tactics can only work for so long.  If you are in this game for the long-haul (and I hope you are), you require to recognize that you are building a brand.  That brand is YOU.  And, an important piece of that brand-building should be coming from YouTube.  So, in order to aid you move forward successfully, and not become YouTube’s latest victim…

here are some pointers for playing nice with YouTube…

  1. Have only ONE YouTube account per ISP.
  2. Never spam video descriptions, titles, or tags.  Descriptions can contain a link to your website and can be “keyword rich,” but it must read cleanly, and provide an accurate description of the video.
  3. Never buy YouTube views.
  4. Never use automated “friend-getter” software like TubeBlasterPro.  Network and make connections with others on YouTube like you would on any other Social networking site like Facebook, etc.
  5. Never upload duplicate content.  if you need to make some modifications to a video, change the title, change the beginning/ending, change the format, etc, that will probably work.  But, ask yourself this question:  does the new video actually provide new content?  If it doesn’t, I would think twice before uploading.
  6. use your channel for more than marketing.  If you are truly displaying your leadership qualities, your channel should be PACKED with good content.  That good content will draw people to you, and you’ll ultimately gain lots of business from that approach.
  7. use your YouTube channel for your own branding (see #6).
  8. If you have more than one YouTube channel, shut down the others IMMEDIATELY.
  9. If you are deleting YouTube accounts, CHANGE the email address of your primary account.
  10. If you are deleting YouTube accounts, CHANGE your IP address.  If you’re not sure how to do this, go to whatismyip dot com.
  11. do not upload videos to YouTube via automated uploading applications like Traffic Geyser.  Although it is a fantastic tool, YouTube has figured out when videos are being uploaded with this software.
  12. do not use music in your videos that is copyright protected.  I was able to buy some wonderful royalty-free music from Audio Jungle very inexpensively.  I highly recommend using them.

Of course, these are only guidelines.  If you have concerns, I would encourage you to read YouTube’s Terms of Service (TOS) to be certainly sure you’re up to date on this matter.  YouTube is an important tool in your marketing tool, but just like any good tool, it needs to be used effectively.

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