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An Important Change to YouTube Video Descriptions

Posted on 3.31.2010

YouTube's recent changes on viewing pages are designed for a more pleasant viewing experience (less clutter) and to keep users on the site longer. One of the ways the site has been streamlined, and clutter removed is by folding the video description into an expandable box. In other words, the descriptions are smaller than they used to be, unless a viewer clicks to expand and read more. However, the description is also in a much better place, right below the video instead of at the top right of the page.

With this highly-visible position and reduced text field, it becomes important for video publishers to optimize video descriptions for YouTube. It appears that descriptions have been reduced to about 140 characters. When you include two default areas of the description - the clickable channel name and date of the video - the description gets even smaller, often under 100 characters. As such, publishers need to get the most important information in the beginning of the description - including a link back to your website (or another appropriate page) and any other mission-critical information.

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