***Disclaimer*** Google has changed the game on this tactic. They no longer publish pagerank scores. The toolbar has been disabled, and ‘follow’ links on Youtube have been pruned to a minimum.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean links from authority sites to your own website or social channels won’t boost your SEO score anymore.
This was a killer strategy back in the day for effectively sculpting pagerank from high pagerank channels on Youtube to your own channels in a very short period of time.
A quick lesson on links and link building:
There is such a thing as “follow” and “nofollow” links. I’m sure you are familiar with hyperlinks so I won’t bore you with the basics, but here’s a quick explanation. In the html code behind a link it can have an attribute tag of rel=”nofollow”. If that is present then the link won’t pass any “link juice” to the url it is linking to.
A quick lesson on “link juice”:
Google gives every url (webpage) on the internet a value. This use to be called “pagerank”. It ranges from 0 to 10. If you have a link pointing to your website from a web page with a pagerank of e.g. 7, that is more valuable than a link from a page with a pagerank of 3.
The great thing about social sites or websites that allow you to create your own page or content on their domain is that they usually already have high pagerank.
The strategy is to then link out to your own domains from those pages or content you created on high pagerank domains.
Youtube for example had a pagerank of 9 on their homepage. Popular channels would have a pagerank of 5 to 7.
If you got a link on that page that pointed to your own website then your pagerank would increase quite quickly and you would be ranked higher.
Thing is… you couldn’t link to your own website. If you put in a url in the comments section it would have the rel=”nofollow” tag on it.
What you could do was leave a comment on a channel page. Didn’t matter what the comment was. The point was that it would automatically link back to your own Youtube channel as the comment author. That link was a follow link.
That meant that you could take your brand new Youtube account channel pagerank from 0 up to 3 in about a week, and if you commented on a few more high pagerank profiles you would be on a pagerank 5 in about two weeks.
Taking it a step further. There was one section on Youtube where you could link out to your own website with a follow link. That was in the settings where you get to specify your own website urls. So if you did the work to build up your channel pagerank then your own website urls would get passed some link juice as well.
The other benefit to this was obviously publishing videos. As your channel was building pagerank quickly, your videos would get priority in the search results. Then if your videos were keyword targeted you would also rank in Google search for those videos. This exponentially increased the views you received. From there if you recommended a url or program in your video, you could link to it in the description and get a boat load of traffic.
See why this was a killer Youtube boosting strategy?
So, now that Youtube has disabled some of the effectiveness of this tactic, what do you do now?
Well, like I said initially there is still merit in finding pages where you can get a follow link. Download this chrome extension which will highlight “follow” and “nofollow” links on any web page. this makes it much easier for you to discover them.
Also…. little teaser. Check out Google+ for potential links.