Getting Links and SEO Value from your YouTube Videos

Quick and easy post today about getting links using your YouTube videos.

There are lots of ways of getting benefits from videos that you produce and post to YouTube.  Dave wrote a great post on video SEO a while back which gives you lots of insight and tips.  What I wanted to talk about today was more focused towards getting links back to your own website by embedding your YouTube videos across the web.

At the moment, if you embed a video from YouTube, you get a link back to the page on YouTube where the video is hosted.  But no link to your own site, that kinda sucks.  Here is how to get around this.

Update: Thanks to Sean Lind for creating a tool that will automate this process for you - check it out here.

Thanks to Andy for piecing together the sample code for this and choosing an awesome sample video!


Video by ParryGripp

This is actually really simple, its just the standard embed code with some HTML attached with our link.  The link above goes to the users YouTube channel, but you could have this going wherever you want.

How to do it

1 - Grab the YouTube video embed code

2 - Add paragraph HTML tags to the start and end of the code

3 - Add a line break tag after the closing object tag

4 - After the break tag, enter your text, in this example we added “Video by”

5 - Add your link code and target URL

6 - It should look something like this, you can see the HTML tags that I’ve added in red:

<p><object classid=“clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000” width=“640” height=“385” codebase=“,0,40,0”><param name=“allowFullScreen” value=“true” /><param name=“allowscriptaccess” value=“always” /><param name=“src” value=“;hl=en_GB” /><param name=“allowfullscreen” value=“true” /><embed type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” width=“640” height=“385” src=“;hl=en_GB” allowscriptaccess=“always” allowfullscreen=“true”></embed></object><br />Video by <a href=“”>ParryGripp</a></p>

7. To create a place where someone can copy this code, place a <text area element that has the javascript and selects all the text as soon as you click on the text area:

<textarea onclick=“this.focus();;”> </textarea>

8. Inside the textarea code, place the HTML for the YouTube video, replacing all the following characters:

  • < characters with &It;
  • > characters with &gt;

These are HTML encoded special characters which mean the code will be seen by the page as a plain HTML string and not just render the video inside the textarea.  Here is an example with the replaced characters highlighted:

<textarea onclick=“this.focus();;”>
&lt;p&gt;&lt;object width=“640” height=“385”&gt;&lt;param name=“movie”
name=“allowFullScreen” value=“true”&gt;&lt;/param&gt;&lt;param
name=“allowscriptaccess” value=“always”&gt;&lt;/param&gt;&lt;embed
type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=“always”
allowfullscreen=“true” width=“640”
height=“385”&gt;&lt;/embed&gt;&lt;/object&gt;&lt;br/&gt; Video by
&lt;a href=“”&gt;ParryGripp&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

9. It should look something like this:

Thats about it!  You can use the example code above as an example to build your own embed codes and text areas where someone can grab the code easily and place it on their own website.


Paddy Moogan

Paddy Moogan

There’s only one Paddy Moogan and he joined Distilled after spending over two years running marketing campaigns at another web design and development agency. Before that he studied Law at Coventry University where he spent more time learning about...   read more

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  1. Been trying to figure this one out for some time but never had the chance to get around to it. Thanks very much Paddy and Randy for sharing this one :)

    Top notch stuff.

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  2. Great post and very interesting Paddy.

    This will definately be actionable for me very soon.


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  3. Nice tip. When I create a video I also add a link to the comments area just under the video.

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  4. For added win, include the embed textarea code in the code you include in the embed textarea (think about it for a second)...

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  5. For added, added win you can also create an additional link that takes your users directly to subscription of your channel. The code is

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  6. Karen Fovargue

    Brilliant post this will also be very actionable for me very soon thank you for sharing this :-)

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  7. Quite simple, and for sure a solid link building method to use that only a few are knowledgeable of doing. Thanks for sharing :) I can definitely try practicing this method through web 2.0 properties, perhaps I'll start with hubs and lenses first.

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  8. Thank you so much for posting this trick Paddy! Easy enough for a non-programmer to follow. Just what I've been looking for!! Awesome.

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  9. Creative thinking out of the box - my mind is buzzing! One more tool for my toolbox :)

    I'd love to visit your offices one day if come to the UK :)

    Jeremy from Canada, Montreal

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  10. Pretty creative thinking- a video without the no-follow tag like you'd see in youtube description. What about link building to your actual youtube channel? Do you find that has much of an impact?

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  11. Oh man! This is really a cute stunt. Thanks for sharing :-)

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  12. why didn't I think of this... This is great linkbait.. Cool

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  13. How has this changed since YouTube is now using an < iframe > share/embed code versus the older < object > code?

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  14. Cool tip. This will be very handy when I'll be rolling out a couple of videos soon. Thx!

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  15. Thanks for the tip! I do a ton of videos weekly for our clients and this is great way to create an additional link for our branding. Cheers!

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  16. Now if there were only a way to embed a customized HTML tag within the embed code at itself... But this is a good start for own-site embedded vids.

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  17. Cora

    If I have a client that creates their own video content, but uploads their media to their own Vimeo/Youtube accounts, how would I make that content count as links to their own site? Still confused on this point. Great article, by the way! Very informative.

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  18. Great sneak tactic for links. Is there any way to do this with the new iframe code?

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  19. Great advice, makes vids look better and more useful.

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  20. Hi there! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does operating a well-established website like yours take a large amount of work?
    I am brand new to blogging but I do write in
    my diary on a daily basis. I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

    reply >
  21. When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same
    comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Bless you!

    reply >
    • Will Critchlow

      Those emails should have a link at the bottom where you can modify your preferences and opt out of the ones you don't want.

  22. Does this still work? Because when I tried the tool that was linked to and pasted the new code to see how it would look, no video showed up.

    Thought that YouTube might have changed something since then?


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  23. What's up it's me, I am also visiting this website daily, this web
    site is truly fastidious and the users are really sharing
    fastidious thoughts.

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  24. This is a great idea. It's too bad that Youtube can't integrate a feature like this onto their website, so people can benefit from people sharing/embedding their videos.

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  25. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad
    and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she
    can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed
    and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with

    reply >

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