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Video Transcript: Just a word of warning in the tail end of the YouTube section, is just be careful of building your business on someone else’s third party. I talked about this earlier in relation to viral video marketing. You don’t want to build a business that’s reliant on someone else. So you don’t build a business that is all on YouTube, you don’t build a business that is all based around AdSense, anything where someone else really holds the cards and they can pull the rug out from underneath you.
We’d spent a long time uploading over 500 videos, optimizing, having the call to actions, lower third. You can imagine how much work that was. This was probably a month or so ago now, our YouTube account for no reason, I just woke up one morning and it wasn’t there. The way I found out, someone posted on my blog saying, I was just watching one of your YouTube videos. It was really good but then I went to click the next video and it said, this account has been suspended.
I remember at the time, oh, I can’t believe this is happening because we didn’t get any notification from YouTube. They hadn’t sent us any emails. It was just like I was saying for Google Places, just Google in general, you can’t pick up the phone and call them and say, what’s going on? Our videos on video marketing tips, we use high value content taken from workshops that we sell for $2000. I just put the content on YouTube.
So the account got banned and I was quite lucky at the time. Someone else, one of Australia’s top bloggers, Darren Rowse, had his account banned as well on the same weekend. What had happened is, they went through and apparently they started banning a whole bunch of accounts, anything where there was the term ‘make money online’ in one of the descriptions. There were a few other things, there is still speculation, no one really knows why they banned the accounts because Google didn’t come out and say.
He got his account reinstated because he is one of Australia’s top bloggers. A reporter picked it up and passed it on to the media person at YouTube and then they reactivated the account. That was within twenty-four hours.
We weren’t so lucky for a little while there. We wrote an open letter to YouTube, posted it on the blog, you can still see it on davidjenyns.com. I talked through the story exactly what happened. It was pretty touching, we had over a hundred people come over the space of twenty-four hours and just posted amazing things. They said, I hope YouTube is watching this, we love your content, you do amazing work. You’re really helping lots of people, we hope you get it back.
I still didn’t hear anything and then I ended up doing a press release and I found my angle. I’ll talk about using press release to get the attention and things like that, but I found my angle. I said, YouTube Bans Australia’s Top Blogger. That’s why I was fortunate that it happened to Darren Rowse as well. I wrote this press release around this idea that he got banned and then also other top bloggers as well and that’s where I inserted myself. I said, he was lucky to get his account back, but only time will see whether or not YouTube is really listening. YouTube had come out and made a quote saying sometimes we get it wrong.
Fortunately though, the account ended up coming back online. I think the few lessons that we learned there were one, again, we started to look at back up strategies. We still want to use web video so we started, how can we use Amazon S3 and some of the other services like Vimeo and Viddler out there as alternative strategies for streaming video that aren’t necessarily reliant on YouTube.
YouTube is the hundred pound gorilla and if you can use YouTube it is definitely the way to go I think for a lot of smaller businesses where I don’t think you’re going to upload 500 videos. But you can still use it.
We’re starting to look at also making sure we’ve got different accounts for different projects. Dave Approved now we’re setting up on a new channel. A few of the other ones we’re looking at splintering out, so that way if one gets banned, then potentially the other ones might be a little bit safe. But we don’t know if it’s going to work because also when they emailed me, they said, you are now no longer to have any association with any YouTube accounts. I read that and I thought I hope they don’t link the trading one because the trading one is the really important one. Fortunately they didn’t make that connection and it ended up coming back now online anyway. So you just want to be super careful for what you’re doing there. Just a little bit FYI.
The question was, what did they accuse me of? I got an email from them saying, what did they say? They said, it was a really short email, saying one of your videos has been violating the terms and service of YouTube. For that reason we’re closing it down. They didn’t say why. I went through the appeals process and emailed them and said, can you tell me how I’m violating the user guidelines? It was an automated response, no we can’t tell you. Just read the user guidelines over here. I couldn’t actually see anything that I was doing.
Not only that, you’re supposed to get three strikes and then you’re out. So if your account gets three strikes over a six month period then they have the right to terminate your account according to their own guidelines. Also those strikes disappear after six months as well. So if six months passes then you get that point back. So I think I was on one, maybe one strike and then they gave me the second strike and they closed it. So I never really knew.
I haven’t heard anything from YouTube, I just woke up the morning after. It was on the long weekend, it was pretty crazy. My girlfriend was expecting to have a nice relaxing weekend and I spent the entire weekend making posts and doing press releases and seeing what I could to get it back.
Then she woke up on one of the mornings and they reactivated it at six in the morning which seems to be the same time that they reactivated Darren Rowse’s account. So I think it must have been YouTube, someone probably YouTube America, I don’t imagine someone at YouTube Australia was getting up at six in the morning and then reactivating it. So long story short, no idea.
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