Q and A: Do YouTube Accounts Ever Expire?

QuestionDear Kalena

Thanks for clarifying in your blog post yesterday about Gmail account expiration. Is it the same situation for YouTube accounts? Do YouTube accounts ever expire and can you acquire the username over time if no-one is using the account?

thanks
Phil

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Dear Phil

Thanks for your feedback about my recent blog post about Gmail account expiry. Because Google owns YouTube, there are some similarities in terms of account expiry and also some crossover in relation to YouTube account hijacking and username impersonation.


YouTube Account Expiry and Transfer

The creation of a YouTube channel requires a Google account. There is no brandname protection over YouTube account creation. Whoever registers a channel name first *owns* that channel.

If someone owns a Google account permanently linked to a YouTube channel e.g. brandname@gmail.com linked to YouTube.com/brandname, to use that channel you would have to convince the Google account holder to transfer the whole account over to you.

Just like Gmail, when a YouTube account is closed, the username is no longer available for use. It’s permanently reserved so you can’t have it transferred to another YouTube account. A closed YouTube account will bring up an error message like this one.


YouTube Account Hijacking

Unlike Google accounts, YouTube have a clearer policy when it comes to username squatting and brand impersonation. From their Username Policy guidelines:

“Impersonating another user by copying their channel layout, using a similar username, or posing as them in comments, emails or videos is considered harassment and is a violation of our Community Guidelines… In cases of username squatting, YouTube may release usernames in cases of a valid trademark complaint.”

Despite the clearer policy guidelines, YouTube still prefers to take a *hands off* approach when dealing with trademark complaints:

“If you are a trademark owner and you believe your trademark is being infringed due to a username issue, please note that YouTube is not in a position to mediate trademark disputes between users and trademark owners. As a result, we strongly encourage trademark owners to resolve their disputes directly with the owner of the username.”


YouTube Account Recovery

If your brand-related YouTube account is being squatted, approach the owners and politely ask if they would be willing to hand over the account/s. Keep in mind that they will have to agree to hand over the related Google account as well. If that fails, you might consider negotiating a price for hand over, as I recommended in an earlier post for Gmail accounts.

If you own the trademark for your brand/company name being squatted on YouTube, lodge a YouTube Trademark Complaint. If the YouTube channel in question is in violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines or is clearly impersonating another user or brand, you can report it via the YouTube Help and Safety Tool.

Good luck.

Kalena

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SMX Sydney 2012 – Robert Moorman – Developing a video content marketing campaign

This is a summary of Robert Moorman’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.Robert Moorman at SMX Sydney 2012

Robert Moorman is a Video Strategist at Hunting With Pixels, a company that specializes in strategic social video campaigns. Robert has over 20 years of experience working as a video producer for media organisations like Fremantle Media and MTV in the UK, Australia and Europe.

Content is king but distribution is queen, says Robert. Content is now about ideas, not tech. For example, 8 year olds who use iPads don’t need to know interface design in order to use it. Video content must be engaging, authentic, simple and memorable.

Robert kicked off showing a corporate video that emphasizes the relationships formed by a business rather than the product they sell.

 

Video Content Optimization

There are a couple of major things to remember when optimizing your video content, says Robert:

  • Highlight your branding early so people associate it with the visual message.
  • Include your call to action early, in case people don’t view the entire video.
  • Don’t forget audio quality. Poor audio will automatically reflect poorly on your brand. TEST it!
  • Short videos generally perform better. If possible, keep your videos to 2-3 minutes.
  • Use graphics and captions in your videos to highlight key points.
  • Be engaging and relevant.

Robert then showed a Nintendo 3DS promotional video that acknowledges the audience is smart. Clever approach, it worked well with the target market and had a viral impact because it was funny.

Video Distribution Channels

There are quite a few video distribution channels available – YouTube is not everything. So here are the options:

  • YouTube – the obvious choice.
  • Vimeo Pro – is an excellent HD quality hosting option.
  • Vid.ly – is great for video transcoding and checking if your video is viewable on multiple platforms.

Video Content Syndication Tips

  • Get your videos embedded by others. If you haven’t already read it, read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It will give you some ideas for how to make your videos memorable and sharable.
  • Make sure your videos are fully searchable. Fill out all the fields when uploading them to YouTube and other content placeholders. Put the http URL in the video title and/or video description so it becomes a clickable link.
  • Use playlists to your advantage.
  • When viewing YouTube, choose the right thumbnail, do keyword research to find popular related keywords.
  • Turn on transcription / subtitles when uploading your videos to create an automatic text version of your content.
  • Context matters – be wary of where your vid appears.
  • Use seeding and video advertising platforms – eg. TubeMogul or YouTube advertising to auto distribute your video content via similar content.

Video Marketing Tips

  • Be sharable – use video plugins that make it easy.
  • Be easy to use.
  • Make your video content easily navigable.
  • Don’t use shortcuts – quality is key with video content.
  • Use YouTube analytics to keep up with viewer statistics and tweak your videos based on viewer activity.
  • If you need to create a video-based site, try Vidcaster – instant micro websites made for videos.
  • For tips on how to SEO your videos, read Reelseo.com regularly.

Robert then talked about a new marketing trend – interactive video content. He showed the Choose a Different Ending video that paused and gave viewers two storyline options to choose from eg. “take the knife”, or “don’t take the knife”, like the alternative ending books you used to read as a kid. Ultimately, you choose whether to live or die. The video was created by DropTheWeapons.org as an awareness tool to break the circle of youth violence and weapons crime.

Robert then showed a video that was a Flash video that entirely mimicked a YouTube page – A Hunter Shoots a Bear – with the word *shoots* able to be replaced by user chosen via keyboard [fun tip – type in *dances with*]. It was a clever ad for Tipp-Ex correction fluid. Apparently they shot over 100 different keyword scenarios. Robert showed another where the company had created an entire website just using video.

In summary, video marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Just give it a go. Look into buying a mid range video camera, a cheapish background screen and a spotlight in order to DIY videos for your site. You can get an entire package for under $1,200.

 

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SMX Sydney 2012 – Stephan Spencer – SEO in 2012

This is a summary of Stephan Spencer’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.

Stephan Spencer is the author of two books: Google Power Search and The Art of SEO. He is also the founder of search marketing firm Netconcepts.

Stephan starts by talking about Google’s Penguin algorithm update released on 24 April. A lot of people were hurt by the algo change which impacts 3.1% of searches. Stephan says, if you haven’t already done so, remove any dodgy SEO tactics NOW. Google is keeping a rap sheet on you – too many infractions and you could get hit.

The algorithm is basically about killing old dodgy SEO – nothing new. Lots of customers are receiving warnings in their Webmaster Tools console about spam signals such as link networks. Google Search + Your World is becoming more important now and they are trying to clean up the SERPs to display more of this social content and improve user experience.

Stephan says to give your content a better chance of being shown in SERPs, make sure your content is above the fold. Google is now distinguishing pages that have ads above the fold and filtering them out. Google is also giving more relevance weight to fresh content, so make sure you blog, post or update regularly.

A leaked copy of the Google’s Quality Raters Handbook 2011 edition shows that user intent, malware, oudated or shallow content can impact your site ranking. Sites with lots of ads can be impacted. Keyword stuffed URLs can signal spam. Google’s Panda update was about low quality pages, but Penguin is about spam. Keep in mind that Panda impacts whole sites rather than individual pages.

You should also look at the number of clicks it takes to reach each page on your site. Make quality content easier to find. Something not widely realized is that Google Instant can interfere with your URLs if you use URL parameters. One tip, says Stephan, is to use position tracking in the SERPs to determine your site’s *actual* position and then find vulnerable ranking pages above you that wouldn’t take much SEO in order to overtake them.

Keep in mind that you need to be logged in to Adwords to see historical keyword trending. You won’t see historical data if you use the Google Keywords tool without logging in, says Stephan. Also – very important – make sure you only ever research your search terms using [exact match] in the Google keywords tool, otherwise data will be skewed and inaccurate.

When it comes to SEO for videos, track your YouTube rankings using the Online Video Optimization Tracker Voot.net. It’s currently in BETA but you can request an invitation. Another tip for video optimization is to optimize your YouTube video thumbnail rather than SERP position.

You can follow Stephan on Twitter via @sspencer.

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Q and A: How do I login to my YouTube channel?

QuestionHi Kalena,

I have been working on some new YouTube clips and have been trying to add them to our company channel we opened a couple of years ago. Problem is that I’ve forgotten our YouTube login and no-one here at the office remembers the username or password.

I have had a lot of problems with Gmail as every time I try to get onto a mail address it rejects the password. It will not accept a new password when I attempt a try.  This has left me with 12 or more email addresses.

I understand all the videos have to be in one channel, but due to the lack of support and communication, I have a mess. I know when it comes to search this is important. I’ve managed to put a new video up on Facebook and also uploaded to google+ and what I thought was my YouTube channel but I was wrong. I tried to find out answers in Google Q & A but no luck for me.

Can you help?

Thanks
Terry

Hi Terry

You can login to YouTube using either your Google email address associated with the account as the username OR the YouTube channel name as the username. But if you’ve already got another Google account open, it will assume you are logged in already and ask you for a password for *that* account. So you need to log out of all Gmail and Google+ accounts and any Google programs such as AdWords and then go to YouTube.com and login from scratch.

It can be confusing, especially if you’ve got multiple Google email accounts or if you’re using Google Apps, so I would advise following the help prompts or browsing the YouTube help forums. There seem to be a lot of people in those forums with the same issue. If you’re still stuck, try contacting Google Support directly.

Kalena

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Educating the Non Geeks in Your Life

teach-parents-techThis time of year can be a bit of a challenge for computer geeks.

If you’re anything like me, you get bombarded at every Xmas function or family get together with the dreaded “Will you fix my computer?” question.

While there are tshirts you can buy that tactfully state your opinion on the matter, they don’t actually address the problem itself, which is the computer issue keeping your friend / colleague / relative awake at night.

Never fear geek friends! Some Google staffers with too much time on their hands have put together the solution in the form of the web site Teach Parents Tech.

Now you can simply avoid awkward technical conversations by sending helpful tech support videos to all the non-geeks in your life. You simply choose the most appropriate wording for your email care package (with tone ranging from condescending to helpful) and attach one or more video tutorials.

There are over 50 basic instructional videos available, divided into the following categories:

* The Basics
* World Wide Web
* Communication
* Media
* Finding Information

Now, instead of dreading a drunk Uncle Dave cornering you after Xmas pudding with the question “I want to be an Internet zillionnaire. How do I schtaart my own webblog thingy *burp*?”, you can simply pre-empt it by emailing him a helpful How to Make a Blog video tutorial.

When your school secretary contacts you complaining that her computer is broken because nobody in her 2000 member email list has received her 20MB newsletter attachment, you’ll be ready with a helpful How to Share a Big File video.

When your elderly neighbor asks you to switch out her David Hasselhoff screensaver for one featuring Justin Bieber, you’ll be able to send her the perfect video instructions to do it herself.

Geeks Unite! Now the only thing you have to dread is the awkward silence next Xmas when Uncle Dave asks why nobody is visiting his blog.

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