Recently, we produced a series of videos for a client’s YouTube page. After posting them, we later found out that one of the client’s distribution partners copied the videos and uploaded them to their own YouTube channel.
As a high-ranking, extremely popular site, YouTube can be an extremely powerful tool for SEO. However, you need to make sure you’re going about it the correct way or else you will receive no SEO benefit whatsoever.
First, if you want to use other people’s YouTube videos for your own personal channel, ask first before doing it. For all original content on YouTube, the copyright belongs to the original uploader. Check out this Guide on how to display other’s YouTube videos without violating copyright.
In the world of link-building, not all links are not created equal. DoFollow links will benefit your website’s search engine rankings. When someone sets a link as NoFollow, they are telling search engines that the it should not influence the target’s ranking. If a DoFollow link pointing to your site is a “vote” for your rankings in Google’s eyes, a link set as NoFollow means the vote is void.
Update 8/28/12: YouTube has changed all links to “NoFollow” since this post was written.
The way that they added the link would provide no SEO benefit anyway since the links inside of the description of every YouTube video are NoFollow links. They didn’t add the one DoFollow link that you get from YouTube – the main link for your channel. That’s really the biggest SEO benefit you can take from a YouTube channel, and it’s a big one! YouTube is a PR9 site, so that’s a nice, high-powered link!