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YouTube – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

If you like old Westerns, then you’ve probably seen the 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western starring Clint Eastwood as “the Good”, Lee Van Cleef as “the Bad” and Eli Wallach as “the Ugly”. The film tells the story of a good guy teaming up with a bad guy to find a cache of gold while an ugly dude does everything he can to disrupt their plans. No special affects. No dazzling graphics. Simple storytelling combined with great acting and cinematography and a great film was born.

So, how does this film relate to my post about YouTube? Actually, other than using the film’s name, it doesn’t. Except maybe I’ll also tell a good story and give my audience something they will remember. And perhaps I’ll demonstrate the good, the bad and the ugly side of YouTube.


In early 2005, YouTube was just another Internet start-up with high hopes of making it’s three founders, former PayPal employees, wildly successful. And like so many Internet start-ups, their chances were slim. Then, in 2006, Google bought the company for 1.6 billion dollars and the rest is history.  The name is as common a household name as any brand before or since. We’ve all used it and many of us continue to use it. In the early years, YouTube was all about user generated video by regular folks who wished to share their videos with a global audience. Along the way, businesses and other organizations began to use it to deliver their most important messages in an effort to build awareness of their brands.

A couple of years ago, Google announced that YouTube had become the second largest search engine when measured by the number of searches.  Of course it is second only to Google Search. Recognizing the value of YouTube to generate traffic to their websites, businesses have uploaded millions of videos to YouTube hoping that potential customers will find and engage with their videos. Engagement in this case means click through to their businesses’ web site to learn more. And perhaps buy something.

The Good: Place as much of your business or organization’s videos on YouTube as you can. Good content properly tagged will drive traffic to your website.

So now businesses are embedding video on their web pages hoping to educate potential customers on the value of their products and services. Many of them are using the embed code generated from their YouTube videos. Its only after their YouTube videos are on their business website does something happen they did not expect: While watching their video, an ad appears during playback. Ouch. An ad playing in their video. On their website. That’s about as distracting as it gets. Let’s not forget that YouTube and its parent make all of their cash through advertising. So they put ads in your YouTube videos. Folks click on those ads, leaving the website. All of the work spent to drive traffic to the website is wasted the moment the traffic leaves the site because they click on an ad.

The Bad:  You work hard to drive traffic to your website. Keep the traffic there by using an online video hosting platform – like iPlayerHD.

Placing YouTube videos on a business website is risky business and not just because of the ads. That YouTube logo in every embedded YouTube video – it represents just one click away from your website to a YouTube page where your video and many other videos, also tagged as your video and potentially – likely – your competitors, are listed with their videos.

The Ugly: I’ll say it again. You work hard to drive traffic to your website. Keep the traffic there by using an online video hosting platform – like iPlayerHD.

If you are an iPlayerHD customer, you understand the bad and the ugly of a YouTube embed. That’s why you’re a customer. Hopefully you also understand the good. Get your videos up on YouTube. Do all you can to make the content engaging. Be sure you tag it well so folks find it. Remember, YouTube is the second largest search engine. And don’t forget to place a link to your website below your video so your viewers have a place to go.

If you don’t have an iPlayerHD account, you can try it free here.

I think I’ll go watch an episode of the Rifleman. Perhaps it will inspire a future post.



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