Aprevious test where we tested links from Facebook has proved that Facebook links alone are not a ranking factor.
What about links from a monster platform such as YouTube?
The main difference being, that YouTube is owned by Google. The links sent from Facebook also had no likes and no shares in the previous experiment so in this test, we wanted to test videos that already had some age and some decent views to them.
For this test, pages were set-up with 400 word articles and a keyword density of 2%.
The experiment page has a link pointing to it from a YouTube video. Three identical pages have been created and submitted to Google at the same time. A link from a YouTube video with views, will be sent to the page with the second position (middle), to see if it has a positive or negative effect on rankings.
In test one, the page with the YouTube link rose to the top. In test two, only one page is indexing. The YouTube link was sent to a non-indexed page. After the link was added, the page with the link is now indexed.
Both test have showed that the page with the YouTube link went from position 2 to position 1.
YouTube links are indeed a ranking factor.
In this video, Clint talks about this test and his experience with using YouTube for backlinks.
This is test 21, Does a Page with a Link from YouTube Video Outrank a Page Without?
This test was done in June 2016. Back when this test was done, I was actually ranking affiliate pages like, Product Review pages with just YouTube videos. And just the link in the description.
Obviously, it’s gotten a little bit harder since then. But I used to do that quite often. And the test results kind of show that. As you can see, the ranking page was in position two for a while and it was a shut up position that wanted to just kind of stay there.
Links do from Youtube description in this case was description do pass ranking juice ranking powder.
Remember single variable testing, we’re only testing one thing and we’re using a keyword with no competition. So how much ranking power is a whole nother ball of wax?
Back then I could rank product pages or product reviews fairly easily with one or two description links and be done with it. Send some backlinks to that. And then that link would pass up to my website.
It wasn’t any work at all, it was pretty easy. Honestly.
Today, it’s a little bit tougher. Google’s kind of figured that out and change the way the YouTube links are posted. It changes the dofollow status and nofollow status. It changes where you can build them from. And where the redirects are probably coming.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they put redirects in any outbound links for YouTube. And that way they can devalue that entirely. Which, in turn, would devalue them as a link target.
That will be much in line with what they did with the YouTube Live. I don’t know if you remember YouTube live? It used to publish YouTube Live. And you can pretty much get page one position and one rankings right off the bat because you did a YouTube Live.
SEO Developers being SEO Software Developers created tools to mass post and mass create videos. This resulted in Google turning that value benefit off.
But links are still there. The links in the description are still there. And links on the channel and the about page are still there. Links and comments are still there. Playlist descriptions, those links are still there.
There’s still some opportunities. You just have to figure out the best combination to actually apply that.
What does it mean for a regular business user though?
In short, if you’re making a video and you’re posting it on YouTube, link back in the description to your blog or homepage. If you don’t have a specific article about this topic of the video you did, that’s fine. Just linked to your homepage.
Don’t devalue it.
You could practice a little interlinking stuff inside of YouTube if you want to. But that’s beyond the scope of the test.
Link to your homepage and get that boost up. Or link to the specific page in which that video is about and get at least a little bit of authority. If anything, your websites are now associated with your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is associated with this topic. Your website is associated with the topic.
Maybe you get that out of it.
But for sure, you can get at least a little bit of a ranking boost by linking up to your website.
There’s also some theories in there that YouTube is really good for indexing. I’ll tell you the test that I’ve done… Not so much.
For example, I do SEO This Week over on my channel Digitaleer. I put a link to the show episodes, the show notes inside of my YouTube video description. I’m still waiting a week for my page to be entered into the index, much less ranking for the target keyword of the show.
There could be some other things involved with that, but for the most part it’s a mixed bag when you’re talking about using YouTube to index backlinks.
Does it work 100% of the time? I don’t think so.
Does it work sometimes? Maybe.
But it’s certainly worth another retest and look into that. But right now I’m not seeing it. There are other people who will say they are, but I’m not seeing it.
Other than that, remember: description, your YouTube channel, your comments, your playlist and there’s a bunch of other places that you could drop links on to YouTube videos.
Why not take advantage of it? Even if just one link and it doesn’t lead to anything, but it’s just one more backlink. One more tie from a very good domain to your page.
We have more tests on links that you could use to help you rise up in rank. Check out our test articles for more details.