In a previous test, we found out that using different link types, for example, a naked link vs a link shortener from a YouTube description had an impact on the results of the tests and what appeared in the SERPs. There seemed to be advantages in using a shortener so we wanted to test to see if there was a ‘better’ shortener to use that could provide more of a ranking boost.
Test Setup and Results
There are four variations for this test and each test variation has 5 test pages that were indexed and then a YouTube video was created (different YouTube accounts) and each with a link to the test page.
Why we used different YouTube accounts
In previous tests, when videos came from the same YouTube account, other videos would start to rank for a completely separate keyword. We assume this is due to the channel power as more videos were added and all the cross linking within YouTube from each playlist, suggestions, etc. We wish to isolate the power of the YouTube link in this test and we used/created new channels to accomplish this.
Why use the #5 spot for the test page?
In previous tests, we have seen 100% “non-negative” results from a link from YouTube. If we weren’t sure, we would pick the #4 spot to see if a page went down but we have test results that show either neutral or positive. By picking the #5 spot, we can also make a better determination if a particular link style is more powerful or less than another, since the only way they can go is up. The question we want to know – how far up?
Test 1 – Raw Link
The YouTube description with the raw link was sent to the fifth ranking page.
Two weeks after, the test page rose up from #5 to #3
Test 2 – Bit.ly Link Shortener
The YouTube description with the Bit.ly link was sent to the fifth ranking page.
Two weeks after, the test page rose up from #5 to #3, similar to the raw link.
Test 3 – Goo.gl Link Shortener
The YouTube description with the Goog.l link was sent to the fifth ranking page.
Two weeks after, the test page rose up from #5 to #1!
Test 4 – Capsulink Link Shortener
The YouTube description with the Capsulink link was sent to the fifth ranking page.
Two weeks after, the test page also rose up from #5 to #1!
The use of link shorteners seem to be making a difference and there are certain link shorteners that provide a much better boost.
The naked URL went from #5 to #3
Bit.ly went from #5 to #3 also
While both Google link shortener and Capsulink rose up from #5 to #1
Due to this test, we are now using either Google Shortener or Capsulink for our YouTube video links.
In this video, Clint discusses the results of this test and the link shortener he uses.
This is test number 52 – Which Link Shortener is Better to Send to a Page from Youtube?
This is kind of an extension, if you watched the test 51 video, you kind of know where this is going. But in short, you can link to any webpage you want to from the YouTube description. Which is pretty handy. It’s a nofollow link. A lot of people say that nofollow has no value. However, if nofollow had no value, you wouldn’t see these test results. At the end of the day, your argument that nofollow is useless would be ergo, null and void just by looking at these test results.
But what we want to see is what if I used or we compared putting a raw URL direct to any page versus using link shorteners, would we get any boost from that? And mainly, it’s from combining the value of the YouTube link itself, with the value of the 301 link shortening service, to pass juice to a landing page and see if we get some more love out of it.
It’s a great test. And because you do this, there’s some opportunities for you too, especially if you’re using a premium service like Capsulink, where you can change your URLs and rotate and do all that stuff.
That really works especially if you’re a high volume channel and let’s say you put a blanket description across all of them. And they’re using it to promote offers in a specific niche, like affiliate offer, for example, or you have a set of shoes in your ecommerce store that are really working really well or you sell a service but later down the road you changed that service. So instead of going through and changing all the URLs or using a tool like Tube buddy to change all your descriptions, you just go to Capsulink and change the redirect URL inside or Capsulink and it’s all updated on YouTube and then the juice supposedly passes, and the SEO, and the traffic, it’s all going to the right place now – to your updated page.
So there’s some value in using a 301 shortener.
In this case, we wanted to see – if I put a Youtube description and I have the raw URL, my normal URL versus these, how’s that going to work? And then how are these going to stack against each other.
The winner was obviously the Google link shortener but they shut that down.
You can do some things with Firebase. And that’s that Google service where you can create a 301 but it’s kind of a pain in the ass.
And so really, at the end of the day, it is probably now, today, let’s say the Capsulink is the winner because Capsulink gets the number one spot, test three pushes up to the number one spot as well, which was the Google. So both of these kinds of work together and did the same thing, which is combined with YouTube, and moved the test page up.
Unlike test number 51, where it was four to two or four to three and I told you that it’s a waste of time, this might actually have some value. Because again, we’re doing these tests in a little bit of a “controlled environment”, you’re using fake keywords, so you’re not competing with other SEOs. You’re not competing with other content optimization, not competing with backlink sets, etc., you’re still in the Google algorithm, you’re still working within the Google algorithm, you’re just not competing against other people. We have a test page competing against control pages.
And since the pages both jumped to number one, because of this, I would argue that using the 301s from YouTube is actually a good way to go. This definitely could use a retest. New 301s and see also about doing some links to YouTube, then go to the shortener and pass through and go to the money site. So essentially, your 301 shorteners, your tier one, your YouTube to tier two, and then I don’t know, blast it with the next rumor or SEO autopilot or a Google or a GSA search engine ranker, that kind of stuff were PBNs, and see what happens there.
Also, there’s some other YouTube methods too, like embeds and all that stuff. Now kinda, sorta takes over and carries over into YouTube and increases its value as a page and it ranks it and as it ranks it, it makes the length of the description more valuable. So you might see some pass off for that too.
These are all great tests to run while you’re doing your link building stuff. And if you’re not thinking about this from a link building perspective, just know that when you’re doing this, you’re not wasting your time, you’re going to get some value out of it. It may not be a whole lot when you’re competing against other people, but you’re going to get some value out of it, especially in easy markets. So definitely worth the extra effort just to drop it in one of these services real quick.
Did you know that Youtube is a good backlink source that is free and that it moves rank! How do we know? We tested that! Check out our article on Youtube links and the corresponding test for it.
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