A lot of Internet marketers use Youtube to drive traffic to their websites. I’m certainly one of those people! Youtube has brought me a lot of targeted free traffic over the years.
There’s one BIG problem though. Youtube Community Guideline strikes.
Now, I’m in no way against guidelines of any kind. You need guidelines or else things just go out of control, especially sites that are as free to access and as effective as Youtube.
I must confess, I usually don’t take the time to read the guidelines of any given site; I’m an ethical marketer so I don’t have to worry about misrepresenting anything I’m promoting. This was the case with Youtube, until I received my first Youtube Community Guidelines violation notice about 18 months ago.
It was for a video that I had posted about how to use Facebook Ads to promote your website. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand what was wrong with the video, so I read Youtube’s Community Guidelines, expecting that it would make it all clear to me.
I was very disappointed.
The guidelines are so vague on most things that it was impossible to pin point how my video had violated the guidelines. So, I emailed Youtube and prayed for a response (not expecting they would review my specific case just for me).
I was happy to get a response from Youtube, but it was generic. Something along the lines of, “your video has been reviewed and found to violate the Community Guidelines”. That was it.
The scary thing about this is that if you get two violations within a six month period, your Youtube account is suspended for 2 weeks. During that 2 week period, you can’t upload and publish any new videos.
It gets much worse…
If you get 3 violation notifications within six months, your account is terminated indefinitely.
Note: Every violation is cleared from the system after six months.
My big concern is that I can (and have) spend a lot of time and effort to build up a portfolio of traffic-getting Youtube videos and that traffic source can be terminated literally overnight by guidelines that are not specific enough for me to know if I’m working within them.
Sadly, I’m not surprised. In 2009, Google suspended my Adwords account indefinitely. Not for any fault of mine, but for a change of policy that they never made public. Did they care that I had spent hundreds of hours building up those PPC campaigns? No. Did they care that it was my main source of income? No.
Now guess who owns Youtube?
The moral of the story is that you should never have all your eggs in one basket. Especially when that basket is owned by Google 😉
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