How to Use Annotations to Link Directly to a Google+ Profile from a YouTube Video

How to Use Annotations to Link Directly to a Google+ Profile from a YouTube Video

The interactivity of YouTube videos can be a wonderful thing.  You can put links for other videos, create calls-to-action, point out something special about the video that a viewer may not notice, and so on.  Our friend Ronnie Bincer at Video Leads Online (he's a frequent commenter who usually has a dog representing his face, which I can ascertain is accurate, haha) has discovered a fantastic way to use annotations to link directly to a Google+ profile, and because it seems like every time YouTube has something new or exciting going on, it doesn't work correctly... but there is a trick to making it work until they get things fixed.

How to Link to Your Google+ Page Through Annotations

First off, you should know that this only works if you've properly connected your YouTube and Google+ accounts.  Ronnie has a video of that process here.

Ronnie has also been kind enough to make a video detailing this direct link/annotation feature.  Here it is:

Here's how it breaks down.  He gives us two ways to do it: the way it should work in the near future, and the way it can work if the bugs haven't been fixed yet.

The Way It Should Work

Go to your Video Manager and your Upload page, and find the video(s) to which you want to add annotations.  There's a tab at the top that says Annotations, and you will be given the option to add or edit annotations.

  • Here, Ronnie has chosen to use the "Spotlight" annotation because it's a graphic on top of an image.
  • Now turn on the "link" by clicking the check box.
  • On the drop-down menu, select Google+ Profile/Page, which is available if you've properly connected your YouTube and Google+ accounts.
  • The link area is then filled in with your profile.

As of this video's posting, the link wasn't working properly, only allowing users to go to the Google+ profile, but not pages.

The Way It Can Work If The Bugs Haven't Been Fixed Yet

  • Do all of the above, but instead of selecting Google+ Profile/Page, select Channel.
  • Go to your Google+ Profile and copy the URL.
  • Paste the URL into the channel link box.
  • You will have to do some editing to the URL.  Delete the part of the URL that says "posts" and you'll have to get rid of the slash, or, "/" too.  If you happen to have a u/ or o/ in the URL somewhere you'll have to get rid of those as well.
  • Save and publish.

All very easy to do, and if you're trying to get your channel and social media all connected, it's a great thing to have at your disposal.  It catches the eye and it's right there in the video, so you don't have to worry about people digging around in your video description box to find all your links.  We'd like to thank Ronnie Bincer at Video Leads Online for this cool trick!

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Posted in YouTube Marketing
About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Barry Kidd

    Hi there Ronnie:

    I've given it a try but it kinda --- didn't work for me. Human error on my part no doubt I'll keep at it and figure it out. I guess I'll need to read a few more of your post to see what I'm missing.

    Thank you sharing this and have a great day,


    • Ronnie Bincer

      When you look at your account setting in YouTube: Does it show that your account is connected to your Google Plus Profile, if not - it needs to be.

  • Ronnie Bincer

    UPDATE: the 'menu driven' choice re. YouTube Annotation Links to our G+ profile now is working properly (apparently since 10/10/12).

  • Stef Edstrom

    Thanks! The 'trick' worked for me.

    • Ronnie Bincer

      Glad it did... I'm gonna now go back to many of my 'older' videos and add an annotation link to my G+ Profile now! Good Times! ㋡

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Thanks Chris for the great write-up of this latest discovery!

    Just 1 note... the 'way it should work' to create the annotation link is not working right now at all... to +Pages nor +Profiles. The way you wrote it up here, one might think it currently works for +Profiles but not +Pages.

    My guess is that any annotation link won't work for +Pages for a while. However trying right now without the "trick" won't even work for the +Profile... that is why we need the trick for now.
    Hope that makes sense.