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How to Make YouTube Videos More Advertiser Friendly



YouTube answers questions about its advertiser-friendly guidelines and offers advice to creators to help ensure videos are always fully monetized.

The advertiser-friendly content guidelines are YouTube’s rules that govern which videos will earn full monetization privileges and which will only be partially monetized.

Over the past year YouTube has expanded its advertiser friendly guidelines page with a significant amount of new text. There’s a lot to digest and it may seem overwhelming if you have limited experience with making money on YouTube.

YouTube aims to make its guidelines as clear as possible, but creators will invariably find themselves needing answers to questions along the way.

To add further clarity, YouTube published a Q&A video that addresses some of the more confusing parts of its rulebook.

Here’s a summary of each question and answer.

Dangerous Content

YouTube’s guidelines state that “dangerous” content can’t be monetized, but when is content considered too dangerous for ads?

Content can have an element of danger to it while also being valuable. For example, a welding tutorial involves the use of dangerous equipment but it’s a helpful resource that people may benefit from.


Dangerous content is considered acceptable as long as it doesn’t involve injury or distress.

YouTube states:

“If it is a tutorial where you’re working on metalworking, a welding exercise, and are wearing protective gear, that is 100% fully monetizable and will not receive the yellow icon. However, if you have footage of somebody who, for example, has their thumb chopped off, or is bleeding as a result of an injury in a workshop, that is not going to be eligible for the green icon.”

As long as no one in the video is getting hurt, or in immediate danger of getting hurt, creators are allowed to run ads on it.

When creating a video involving the use of dangerous equipment, ensure all necessary protective gear is worn.

Controversial Content

How can creators keep their videos advertiser-friendly when they’re covering a controversial subject?

YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines define controversial issues as:

“‘Controversial issues’ refers to topics that may be unsettling for our users and are often the result of human tragedy. This policy applies even if the content is purely commentary or contains no graphic imagery.”

For the most part, content around controversial issues is exempt from monetization. There is one exception, however.

Content that advocates against dangerous acts will usually be considered advertiser-friendly.


For example, a video advocating against animal abuse could likely be monetized as long as it doesn’t show the act itself.

Another thing to keep in mind here is YouTube doesn’t allow people to monetize first-hand experiences of controversial issues.

A video reporting on a protest is more advertiser-friendly than a video taken while participating in a protest, for example.

Content with personal experiences is likely to get limited ads. If you’re reporting on an issue from a third person perspective you will earn full monetization.


YouTube offers creators a streamlined process for running ads by incorporating a self-certification questionnaire into the upload flow.

It asks creators to review YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines and indicate whether the video they’re uploading follows all the rules.

The questionnaire allows creators to run ads instantly, when previously there would be a delay between the time a video is uploaded and the time ads are activated.

Videos are still subject to YouTube’s review, however, and if the questionnaire wasn’t answered correctly it will impact a creator’s accuracy score.


An high accuracy score is important because it could make the difference between a video running ads or not.

Whenever YouTube’s automated system disagrees with a creator’s decision on the questionnaire, it will defer to their accuracy score to determine how to proceed.

YouTube will side with the creator if they’ve proven themselves trustworthy with a high accuracy score.

Firearm Content

YouTube has fairly strict rules around firearms-related content. Anything that involves buying, selling, or using guns can’t be monetized.

Someone submitted a question asking if this policy would apply to videos about designing and producing 3D printed gun parts.

Unsurprisingly, that type of content would not be eligible for ads. YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines state:

“Content focused on the sale, assembly, abuse, or misuse of real or fake firearms is not suitable for advertising.”

Firearms are allowed to be shown in videos, while maintaining the ability to serve ads, if they’re being held or in someone’s holster.

A prime example of this is news channels who frequently publish clips to YouTube of authorities carrying firearms.


Footage of firearms is fine for ads as long as there’s no violence.

For more, see the full video below:

Featured Image: Primakov/Shutterstock


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How SEO Works in Digital Marketing




Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing.

SEO helps with brand discoverability. When done right, SEO can create the most consistent and by far the highest-quality traffic source which doesn’t require on-going maintenance.

Yet, SEO is usually the most isolated part of the marketing. Whether it is an in-house team or a third-party service that’s delivering your SEO campaigns, it usually exists on its own without really communicating goals, progress or results to the whole company.

This creates silos that can lead to poor results and even reputation crises.

How does SEO work in digital marketing and how can a business make it work better?

What is SEO?

SEO is a collection of tactics (content, technical, link building, even website security and usability) that ensures that your website is easy to understand for search engines.

Basically, it ensures a machine knows that your page will be easy to find to a human being who is looking to solve a related problem.

Search engine traffic is one of the highest-quality traffic for many reasons:

  • Unlike PPC (paid) traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic,  it doesn’t require an ongoing work to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic, you are not interrupting people’s browsing. Instead you give them what they were actually searching for.

In other words, it is consistent and it converts well. No other digital marketing tactic beats that.

Apart from driving direct traffic, search engine optimization helps build brand awareness by increasing your brand’s organic findability.


Keep Your Whole Team Aware of Why SEO is Important

The great thing about today is that everyone understands the value of ranking high on Google! Sadly, however, many folks only know that they “need SEO” without having really understood what that means. 

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SEO these days is too hard for a digital marketer to do alone. Many SEOs find themselves in situations where an executive will simply come down and go “Why are we not ranking well for ‘dingwobble’?” 

Keep working hard with teams for them to understand how they contribute to the SEO process:

  • Product Marketers who are responsible for the business, personas and messaging understand that SEO is critical to driving the bottom line revenue numbers they are looking at. Part of the persona developing process should be the development of the “digital persona” – what websites and search terms are these people looking for? This helps the product marketer when it comes time to develop messaging, as that is going to be critical for developing the content, so the right search terms better be there!
  • Field Marketers responsible for the campaigns need to know how SEO fits within their campaign, how it in fact is core to our demand generation, and how to make sure to keep the campaigns integrated.
  • Marketing Communications is creating the content, so SEO should very well be top of mind for them, as the content itself will be critical in impacting how successful SEO will be.
  • But that’s not all! Often, other groups are creating content (Press Releases, Blog Posts, Presentations, etc.) that also end up on the web and impact SEO. Whether it’s Corporate Communications, Investor Relations or even Legal teams, working with them is critical.
  • IT manages the infrastructure and can be very critical to the technical aspects of SEO.
  • Sales and customer support teams are at the forefront of marketing talking to your future and current customers, so they need to be involved in the SEO strategy. Creating relevant content goes beyond keywords. It needs to address real problems and answer actual people’s questions, and your client-facing teams will be your best source of inspiration here.  
  • Executives also care! While they can’t often influence the day-to-day of SEO, they will care a lot about the bottom line, to which SEO contributes.
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Educating all of these people about SEO helps empower them, as well as position yourself, the SEO, as the subject matter expert who is not just someone back-office who gives very little visibility into the black box of SEO, but someone who is actively educating and contributing to the organization’s success.

Review and discuss common KPIs early and often to make sure everyone knows what victory looks like to the team.

Additionally, SEO should be a solid part of any project launch as it impacts every stage of product positioning. From choosing a business name to choosing a website builder, your initial efforts should be driven by SEO best practices.

What is the key to SEO success in a constantly changing environment?

As a practitioner of SEO, I believe that you need to look to ensure you are looking at both developing yourself in both depth and breadth of knowledge. A key danger in the name of being informed or being a part of the SEO community is spending all your time debating tactics and practices rather than testing them. 

Additionally, SEOs as with all employees need to look outside their field to stretch and learn how to be more well rounded. This could mean learning to code, or educating yourself in some other area of the business you work for.  This will expose you to ideas others may not have.

As a manager of people, success is really about diversity of expertise. Who you hire and the kind of people you hire will be far more valuable than much of what people invest in with regards to SEO programs. You have to have people who can roll with the punches and develop a skill for self-management and personal growth. 


Finally, I think knowing what your real goals are in having an SEO program are the key to long term success. The reality is you may get more traffic, but if that traffic is not from qualified leads and generates real revenue then the benefit may be very little. Having well defined goals and metrics will also help you avoid chasing algorithm changes and focus on the big picture.

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SEO is the most essential long-term digital marketing strategy but to make it really effective, you need a knowledge team that is well-integrated into the company’s life. Good luck!

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.

Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).

Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.

Source: Ann Smarty

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