What’s New in YouTube’s Revamped Linking Policy for 2023?

YouTube Shorts is one of the tools that creators use to gain followers and redirect traffic to their other content and platforms via links. However, some people abuse this system and use links in their Shorts to redirect unsuspecting users to scam or spam pages.

That’s why YouTube is revamping its linking policy on YouTube Shorts and other YouTube content. Here’s what you need to know.

YouTube Is Removing Links on Shorts and Desktop Channel Banners
According to an August 2023 YouTube Help announcement, the company will remove links in comments, descriptions, and the vertical live feed in Shorts starting August 31, 2023. The change will happen gradually, meaning not all accounts will have their Shorts links taken away on that date. But, eventually, all clickable links in YouTube Shorts will disappear.

It also removed clickable social media icons on desktop channel banners on August 10, 2023. That means your followers will no longer see your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and other social media platform icons on your channel’s banner.

YouTube said it’s removing them as they’re a source of misleading links and taking “preventive measures to make it harder for scammers and spammers to mislead or scam users via links.” Nevertheless, YouTube also assured its users that it wouldn’t make links outside of those mentioned unclickable.

YouTube Is Introducing New Ways to Links to Other YT Content
While the video platform removed links from YouTube Shorts and the channel banner, it also recognized that many creators used them to promote their content. So, YouTube is introducing a couple of alternatives to the links they just removed.

Image Credit: YouTube Help

Starting August 23, 2023, creators can add links that are prominently displayed above the Subscribe button. When a follower taps this, a window showing all the links the creator added to their channel profile will appear. You can then add links to just about anything you want—you can even create and link to an About Me Page to help introduce yourself as a YouTuber.

Image Credit: YouTube Help

Furthermore, starting at the end of September 2023, YouTube will now allow creators to link their long-form YouTube videos directly to their YouTube Shorts clips. This makes promoting their main video uploads via Shorts easier, helping creators gain more followers and views using YouTube Shorts.

With this move, Google is making it worth posting YouTube Shorts for long-form video creators. It can also address some of the reasons why you shouldn’t watch short-form videos by encouraging creators to redirect you to deeper, more meaningful content.

How to Send Your Shorts Viewers to Your Links
Removing social media platform icons from the desktop channel banner is somewhat solved by the new links window above the subscribe button. However, the loss of links from YouTube Shorts can negatively affect some creators—especially those that rely on YouTube Shorts as one of their online side gigs to earn extra cash via affiliate marketing.

Image Credit: Jowi Morales

So, what can you do to get your business back? One way is to create a matching long-form video you can use to add your affiliate links. For example, you can create a YouTube Short to introduce the product you want to sell. Then you can create a full five or ten-minute review, which you’ll link to the Short you made.

Not only does this help your viewers better understand the item you’re promoting, but it can also give you more credibility, as you can honestly show them what you’re selling. You can then add the affiliate link to the long-form video, allowing you to continue your income stream.

Alternatively, you can add a “Link in Bio” on your YouTube Channel profile, which your followers can visit to find the links you want them to click. This is similar to “Link in Bio” on Instagram, which creators use to send their followers to the pages they want them to visit.

A Better Way to Link in YouTube
As YouTube said, scammers and spammers are getting more creative in stealing money and information from unsuspecting users, so it had to act proactively to protect users. And while this change can be inconvenient for some creators, YouTube ensured that there’s a way that your followers can still keep on visiting the links to your other pages while helping increase safety and security.


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