A Cautionary Tale for YouTubers

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So if you're on YouTube, you probably heard that Eleventh Gorgeous, a very popular beauty and fashion channel, was thrown in YouTube jail today. I've been subscribed to them for awhile now and I think they're some of the more creative, genuine vloggers out there. Their channel is banned for 2 weeks. 2 weeks would break my heart (and my wallet) so I can't imagine how it affects someone who relies on YouTube as their full-time job. It really sucks. I feel bad for them, I really do. However. There's a lesson in everything.

According to the video they posted on their second channel, they received a strike on their account a few months ago for requiring a "like" as a giveaway entry. Something many of us have done, despite YouTube Terms & Conditions clearly stating that's not allowed. Then, just recently, they received a second strike for keyword stuffing - A.K.A. putting a large block of keywords in the description box of their videos in addition to the normal place you input tags. Again, clearly stated in Terms & Conditions.

E.G. told viewers that their former network (who they did not name) instructed them to keyword stuff to help optimize for search. While that could be hearsay, I'm inclined to believe they were telling the truth. And yes, keyword stuffing helps immensely with search. That's why it's not allowed. What it also does, we now know, is suspends your YouTube account.

I cannot even begin to count how many YouTubers with huge followings use keyword stuffing and incentives for likes to improve their search rankings. It's safe to say E.G. were following what their network told them to do and simply trying to keep up with the Joneses. But this is why it's an issue. If big creators can get away with it, then their videos will ALWAYS dominate search, making no room for smaller ones. And this is why a crackdown needs to happen, but I don't think it's fair to crack down on one channel only.

I could list a bunch of vloggers who are huge perpetrators but I won't do that. I encourage you to open up the "Show More" box and see for yourself what I mean. I'll be honest, I did this at the advice of certain people for the beginning of my time on YouTube. Then I read the Terms & Conditions and I went through all 100+ of my videos and deleted the keywords. Did it hurt my search rankings? YOU BET. Do I worry about my account being suspended now? NOPE.

The lesson in this is 1. Networks don't have your back and 2. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. While I feel bad for this channel, they will survive, and when their account gets restored, they will now know to take each piece of advice with a grain of salt. That is so, so important, especially if you consider something your career and main source of cash. You agreed to living by those Terms & Conditions, even if you didn't read them. Just like you agreed to that contract that automatically renews after 2 years unless you notify them in writing, even if you didn't read their contract.

Just be smart, people. And support each other. Pleeeease.