YouTube Titles Have to Describe 75% of the Video, Or It's Gone?

YouTube Titles Have to Describe 75% of the Video, Or Its Gone?

I've been following The Philip Defranco Show on YouTube for awhile now.  His take on the day's news is pretty entertaining, and on occasion he gives some insight into the world of YouTube.  On Thursday's show, DeFranco led off by saying he would be breaking up his regular show into separate videos.  One reason he gave was that comments for each video would remain relevant to each topic, but the second one he gave surprised me.  "I was told that if our titles do not relate to what we talk about for three-fourths of the video, I could have my videos pulled."

The Continuing YouTube Tinkering Saga: There Is A Hidden Positive, But Still...

YouTube, like many amazing facets of life that begin as a long-shot and then become tremendously successful, has made lots of moves this year that have made people wonder if they'll ever get a fair shake from them again.  YouTube seems to be turning into TheyTube more and more with each new decision, whether it's going after Hollywood to create content, or changing the search algorithm every 2 hours, or deciding that, "Video titles must describe nearly all of the video," making no room for artistic interpretation.  It's like YouTube members have been thrown into Animal Farm and the rules keep changing or being re-interpreted.

For most people, this isn't going to be a problem, since most videos are going to be one topic and easy to make a title for.  But now you have to think about that title even more than usual.  You might not be able to go with an ironic or interpretive title if YouTube decides that they're going to go full-out on this regulation.

Here's Philip DeFranco's first segment, all its own video, from Thursday where he makes mention of the 3/4 rule:

So then DeFranco has two more videos in a playlist that encompass what is usually one video, all with their own titles, and making things less convenient for him and his viewers.

However, there has to be a ray of sunshine for people like DeFranco who talk about several different topics at once into splitting one video into three, and it's pretty obvious.  If you have a million viewers watch one video, you now have the chance for a million to watch three separate videos, and the YouTube check can be greater (until they figure out how to change the rules again).

YouTube Titles Have to Describe 75% of the Video, Or Its Gone?

It's kind of like when Quentin Tarantino and Miramax, then run by the Weinsteins, basically started this "Part 1 and Part 2" craze we're seeing now with any "saga" with Kill Bill.  They could have released Kill Bill and made around $180 million worldwide and that would have been a successful picture.  But by splitting it into two, they got basically twice the money for one movie (both parts ended up making $330 million total).  The final Harry Potter, basically one long movie but split into two, made $2 billion worldwide, and we're going to see similar success with the upcoming Twilight: Breaking Dawn finale.

Still, this is a procedure that I'm sure DeFranco could do without, being one of the most-viewed partners on the site.  He already makes tons of videos, and now he and his editor have to do a little more work, and each full show now gets a disjointed feel as you watch it in a playlist, or click a link to get to the next one.  Whatever the case may be, YouTube continues to make moves that have a certain logic to them, but it's getting to the point of micro-management and I don't think anybody really wants that.

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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 - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=170100766 Tim Schmoyer

    I agree. This makes the show feel like little news clips instead of a news show. I prefer to have all the stories together in one video.

    • Chris Atkinson

      Yeah, I don't like the change at all. It's pretty fragmented.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1047883523 Neil Ferree

    Wouldn't a video transcription help reduce the likelihood of a title / content from being pulled?

    • Chris Atkinson

      Maybe, but DeFranco is a partner and I'm pretty sure has the inside dope on all the tips and tricks to avoid having videos pulled, and if a video transcription helped, I'm sure he'd do that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=201695633182016 Dan Safkow’s Video Marketing Minute

    I think the key word is "can"... it's a caveat for the YouTube overlords to use editorial discretion against those who are trying to rig YouTube. I don't think folks producing authentic, multi-topic videos, have anything to worry about. Would they remove an Anderson Cooper, Conan O"Brien, Young Turks, or Leo Laporte video because more than 2 topics were covered? No. Phillip may be giving birth to an urban YouTube legend that has a grain of truth in it.

    But when it comes to video SEO, I think we would be wise to follow the rule.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=702689369 Lindsay T OConnor

    Would he not only have to add the word News to the end of the title to be covered? Seems to be much more about money then anything else.

    • Chris Atkinson

      Of course, now he's gone back to his original format, so I wonder if YouTube just told him not to worry about it. I bet others will have to worry about it, though. Strange.