The video platform recently announced new rules regarding how user’s link to outside websites.
The new set-up has been met with mixed reviews, leaving some skeptical of the site’s intentions.
Below I’ll cover what exactly has changed and how it may affect you.
The Way it Was
Adding links to videos used to be fairly straightforward. YouTube creators could include them in video descriptions, cards throughout the video, or an endscreen. YouTube cards are the dark pop-ups that appear throughout videos (creators can choose when and where these appear). Endscreens take up the entire screen and last up to 20 seconds. Clicking the links in either will lead viewers to sites away from YouTube – often to official websites of the video creators, crowdfunding sites like Patreon or other merchandise stores that allow creators to earn revenue.
The New Rules
As of May, the rules are slightly stricter. Now, rather than allowing anyone to link externally, YouTube requires that users join their Partner program first. To do this, users must also enable monetization.In addition, while there was previously no minimum view count to their Partner program, the platform now also requires a channel have at least 10,000 views to be considered.YouTube states:“We know this is frustrating for some but external linking is a powerful tool that provides relevant information to viewers, and therefore, we want to ensure that the creators showing these links are playing by the rules. Requiring monetization gives us additional information to determine the validity of a channel and its compliance with our policies.”To join and add links, users must follow three steps.
Step 1: Join the YouTube Partner Program
The basis of YouTube’s Partner Program is that it allows users to earn shared revenue from ads placed in their videos. If viewers click on any of the videos, the YouTube Partner will be entitled to a share of the revenue (typically cents or a few dollars.)To sign up, users must agree to the terms and conditions and apply. While users can apply at any time, their application will only be reviewed once their channel has hit the required 10,000 views. According to YouTube, the “new count threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel. It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies.”YouTube will then check that your content complies with the YouTube Partner Program policies, YouTube’s terms of service and its community guidelines.
Step 2: Associate Your Site With Your Google Account
YouTube also requires that you add your website as an “associated website” in your Google account in order to link to it. If you haven’t already, users can follow the steps listed here to set up. The site will then go through a verification process, and once approved users will be able to link to it.
Step 3: Add a Card on Videos to Link to Your Website
The final step is creating and adding the actual card to your video. You can do this in your Video Manager section. You’ll be prompted to create the card, select your site URL, and add a title, CTA, and teaser text. Here, you can also link to an approved merchandise or crowdfunding site, or add an endscreen instead of a card.
Possible Drawbacks of YouTube’s New Rules
New Links Summary
Time will tell how the new set of rules affects video creators. While existing videos and links will remain unchanged, in order to continue links – to any site – creators will have to be proactive and agree to YouTube’s Partner Program.
About the Author
John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Named #1 SEO company in the USA, UK and Canada by Clutch.co and number 1 PPC company by 10BestPPCs, Ignite Visibility has been an Inc. 5,000 company in both 2017 and 2018. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the book “Digital Influencer,” which was named one of the best new marketing books by Forbes and LinkedIn. Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketing strategiest in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.