This week on Creator's Tips we're going to be talking about the best way to share and link to your Youtube channel's URL in a way that may boost search rankings for both your YouTube channel and its videos.
A Quick Boost
This trick/best practice that I'm about to show you I just recently learned myself. It's a small one, but it can have some big benefits when it comes to building up your channel and video rankings. As I'm sure you all know, there are several ways for you to share your Youtube channel's URL. Some of them will help you by boosting your rankings, while some do nothing. Unfortunately for most of us, we tend to use the latter method.
Most of us just say something like "Here's my Youtube channel: Youtube.com/reelso." While that technically works, it won't build any link equity for you. The reason it won't is because Youtube doesn't actually look at your URL the same way you do. While you see it as "Youtube.com/reelseo" or whatever, Google and Youtube see it this way: "Youtube.com/user/reelseo." That extra bit is what registers the whole link, and what will actually start building "ranking juice" and all that good stuff for your Channel's URL, as well as all the videos that are on that channel.
Here's some Expert Clarification
Here's how our founder, Mark Robertson, explained it.
For SEO link building best practices, it's important that when linking to an asset, you're linking to the single dominant version of that content, so as to not dilute your link juice/equity through linking to multiple versions/URLs (canonical). It's a diffult issue to explain in a short answer, but essentially, unless you're 301 redirecting mulitple versions of your content to the original version, search engines will treat the various versions of your content as unique entries, often identifying those duplicates as duplicate content.
Because YouTube does not 301 redirect /username to /user/username, and because all links within YouTube to your channel, point to the latter as a default, links that point to the former may pass "link juice" to the main version of your YouTube channel, which already has significant equity from internal YouTube links. There's a caveat here in that YouTube does properly include a canonical URL meta tag, but it's still best to link to the canonical URL
Therefore, you might as well link to the same version that YouTube links to so as to build more link juice to the version of your channel that is likely already dominant in Google's mind.
BTW - if you want to learn more about what canonical/canonicalization is, SEOMoz has a great primer post all about that here.
Building the "Juice"
With that in mind, it is much more advantageous for you to use that whole Youtube.com/user/youraccount name format when you post anywhere online. I know it doesn't look as neat and pretty, but that's how to start building up some real link equity.
So how effective is this little trick? According to some reports, videos that were previously ranked around 25-30 jumped to the top 3 in a matter of weeks, once their owners switched to that format of linking. It definitely makes a difference. Give it a try, and let us know how well it worked for you in the comments below.