Banned From YouTube

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As some of you noticed, I was banned from YouTube. No reason given!

That account had 160 videos, 50 subscribers, has been around for 2 years and responsible for a couple of extra accidental sales per week.  Some of the videos on that account had over 2,000 views.

Long story short: the Thursday morning of April 23, 2009 I drove from Turlock, south down Highway 99 and then Interstate 5 through Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles then finally San Diego to meet a few people who were in town for Mass Control 2.0.... Jason Fladlien, Lance Tamashiro, Dale Maxwell, David Risley, and Bryan Blyss (Faceman).

Tragedy Strikes!

We check into Jason's room at the Hard Rock Hotel, break out the laptop like usual internet marketing nerds and check out our Video Sales Tactics blog.  Try to play the latest YouTube video I have posted there... and it's been "removed for terms of use violation."

That's weird, I say... and try to play another YouTube, same message.  I load my YouTube profile... it says, "This account is suspended."  Try to login to that account, same deal.

YouTube never sent me any e-mail about any videos being a problem or about the account being taken down.  YouTube has no phone number of e-mail address, but after filling out a 10-part form I was able to get this canned response:

Hi robertplank,

Thanks for your email. Your "robertplank" account has been found to have violated our Community Guidelines. Your account has now been terminated. Please be aware that you are prohibited from accessing, possessing or creating any other YouTube accounts.

YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When a video or account is brought to our attention we investigate and take action if necessary.

We are unable to provide specific detail regarding your account suspension or your video's removal. For more information on our what we consider inappropriate content or conduct while using YouTube, please visit our
Community Guidelines and Tips at http://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines and our Help Center article http://help.youtube.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=92486.

Regards,

Roberto
The YouTube Team

So YouTube tells me my account violates their community guidelines, but won't tell me which ones, and it's obviously none because their community guidelines refer to copyright infringement, anything illegal, hate speech, etc. of which my account had none.  It was ALL talking head and PowerPoint how-to videos.

The icing on the cake is that being "suspended" from YouTube not only means your account is gone, but you aren't allowed to create any new accounts.  (The guys from Traffic Geyser told me to create a new account at a friend's house, but there's no way I'm doing that.)

That Sucks!

The lesson to all this is: post videos in Camtasia format on your blog so you aren't stuck with a bunch of "this video has been removed" links all over your blog.  I have the originals of all those videos and YouTube only accounted for 5% of my traffic, but it still sucks.

Build your own site, not someone else's. You shoud be posting your YouTube videos on your OWN blog, including hosting the video itself.  It's just like how you should be posting your own articles to your blogs, and not just EzineArticles.

Matt Levenhagen responded to my tweet on Facebook and mentioned sxephil (Philip DeFranco) who is one of my favorite YouTubers, who does this too.  Use your videos to get people offsite and on your list so you can continue posting videos on your blog.

As far as why I was banned? The only thing that makes sense is Traffic Geyser. It looks like I was wrong, other internet marketers not using Traffic Geyser have been banned for the same reason...

What Does All This Mean?

The moral of the story is YouTube throws great parties, but is not trustworthy enough to watch your kids.  Use YouTube as a traffic source, not a place to store all your content.

That's the true story of the last YouTube ever posted by Robert Plank... what are your thoughts on this?  Make sure to comment below!

101 Comments on “Banned From YouTube”

  1. Matt

    Wow man, that's disappointing. Sorry to hear you were shut off like that.

    On the bright side, at least you didn't have hundreds or thousands of subscribers, and hundreds of videos, right?

  2. TeamHager

    Thanks for the info. You cant trust any sites but your own these days. I use youtube on my blog ,but I think I will start using Easyvideo producer.

  3. Marcus

    That really Stinks.

    The worst part about all this Internet rules and guidelines are that if you are flagged "You are guilty, until proven innocent" - with a trialdate set to: Never.

    99% of Internet marketers are just trying to get some good stuff out there in front of people who actually are searching for the information - without having to dedicate 100% attention and time to just one traffic source.

    Good tip with hosting your own stuff.

    Thanks for the heads up,
    -Marcus

  4. Tim Linden

    Good reminder. Oh and use Amazon's CDN if you are popular. Bandwidth is cheap and load time is fast. No sense paying for a beefy server that can do all this dynamic stuff, and then making it stream huge files and not able to serve as many users while doing so.

  5. Ian

    Bummer!

    After reading this, I pulled out my copy of "YouTube: An Insiders Guide To Climbing The Charts" where they have a section on "This Account Is Suspended".

    Taking a snippet from the section.......

    "Do calmly and politely email YouTube and, if you haven't been informed already, ask why you were suspended. If you disagree with the reason, calmly respond with your side of the story. If you were at fault, your best option is to sincerely apologize and throw yourself at the mercy of the YT editors. If you haven't made any negative waves on the site in the past and you are handling your suspension with a certain maturity, you might get your account reinstated. I have seen numerous accounts reinstated when people follow these simple guidelines."

    Hope this helps and you are able to get your account back.

    Ian.

  6. Robert Plank

    Ian, did that book happen to include an e-mail address for YouTube?

    As far as I can tell they don't have one, just a "help center" which led me to get the canned response I pasted in the original post, which they haven't replied to since last week.

  7. Dennis

    Robert, I think Ian makes a good point. I haven't seen anyone appeal to YouTube about account closure, but then again I haven't known anyone whose account was closed.

    But I do know someone whose eBay affiliate account was closed, and he was able to get reinstated by being calm and professional and having facts to prove that he wasn't at fault.

    Then, after you get your account opened back up again, you'll have the basis for a nice little report on the entire episode, which you could certainly sell a ton of copies of.

    Make lemonade out of these lemons, and good luck.

    Dennis.

  8. Robert Plank

    Right Dennis, but if you can show me a way to appeal to YouTube that doesn't involve the Help Center (which only got me a canned response) I'm all for it.

  9. Henrik Blunck

    It truly sucks, Robert.

    I also have numerous videos on YouTube, and converted them into divX on my own Mac. But I might reconsider saving originals on DVD and then finding another host.

    Thanks for the warning.

  10. Ian

    "Ian, did that book happen to include an e-mail address for YouTube?

    As far as I can tell they don't have one, just a "help center" which led me to get the canned response I pasted in the original post, which they haven't replied to since last week."

    No... I don't see one other than replying to the email sent to you from YT.

    The author, Alan Lastufka, is on Twitter @AlanDistro and YT Channel Fallofautumndistro. Maybe he can help.

    Ian.

  11. Cathy

    I couldn't find an email address but I found their address and phone number.

    You can contact YouTube at the address below.

    YouTube, LLC
    901 Cherry Ave.
    San Bruno, CA 94066
    USA
    Phone: +1 650-253-0000
    Fax: +1 650-253-0001

    Good luck.

    Cathy

  12. Roger

    I like searching for stuff on Google, so I took on the challenge to find out how you can appeal to YouTube, but it is apparently one of the better kept secrets on the Internet.

    I do have two things to cheer you up, though:

    1) Even the famous have been given the same VIP you received. YouTube banned Perez Hilton's account once as well. The whole story is here:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9837191-7.html

    2) I have written a review about you on my site. It is entitled: "Robert Plank, The Man, The Myth, The Legend?"

    Sometime things like this happen for the best. Let's hope this forces you to find a much more advantageous way of using your videos.

    At any rate, I'm a big fan.

  13. Jenn Dize

    Robert,

    I'm bummed to hear this. I think your thoughts about the way it happened might be correct. It's a good reminder to use YouTube as a tool...and not as a foundation for a business. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

  14. Steve

    That's the way the Big G family handles things, reminds me of pepole who lost the AdWords or AdSense account without much explanation other than vague references to their policies. Don't depend on them.

  15. Ron

    Hey Robert,

    That really sucks!

    I'm not sure if any of these will work, but I found these:

    Send emails to:
    service@youtube.com
    support@youtube.com
    editor@youtube.com

    OR Fax: 1-650-253-0001

    Good luck!

  16. Robert Plank

    Thanks Ron, I just sent an e-mail to those addresses. If I don't hear in a week I'll follow-up via snail mail.

  17. J.R. Jackson (Internet's $8-million man)

    Once again I agree 100% with you Robert.

    You need to host everything at your own site and not rely upon other free sites.

    J.R.

  18. Donna Maher

    What a bummer for you Robert (and for us who truly enjoy your videos).

    Please do keep us posted on your progress on this incident. Too bad they don't spend more time getting rid of their foul language posters and p*rn-like videos instead of picking on legitimate and bright authors like yourself.

    Keep smiling - it'll all work out for your highest good.

    Donna

  19. LittleDumb Guy

    For that matter - NOTHING is safe. If you use Amazon S3 and if your credit card is declined for their payment for any reason..all your videos will go down till it is resolved. It happened once for me. The CC expiry date was over and it took 3 days to restore the account.

    If you use your webhost to host your videos, it is risky too..your webhost can shut you down anytime..lol.

    So, I'd say - diversify your assets. Use amazon, use webhost, use youtube..and in the situation of crisis, just switch.

    And how can you switch easily? Maintain a centralized php file for all your links. If youtube goes down ever, just change the link in your file to show video or file from other server. There are ways to automate this too.

    But the idea is - nothing is reliable if it's not in your control.

    Regds,
    Deep Arora

  20. Ken

    Robert, I'm truly sorry about that. YouTube gives you some great exposure and it is a bummer to lose that. But for some of the same services and many better ones do yourself a favor and get a paid account on Blip.tv where you can host videos over 10 minutes long, have them converted to FLV and MP3 and more. That way you don't bog down the bandwidth on your own host.

  21. EasyFLV

    This is the reason I have always tried to educate my users to host their own videos. Not because, I sell a related streaming video product, but because, your fate should not be in someone else hands. However it is true that most people like the YouTube way for a source of traffic and as well as less hassle to publish a video. People should take Robert's episode very seriously and rethink about posting videos on video sharing websites, if those videos are related to your business. You can always post videos like "How I trained my cat to use the toilet" on the video sharing websites, but for business related stuffs, please be extra careful!

  22. Money Map

    Does'nt that just suck!

    I had a similar problem with a Twitter account - apparently in my case it was a hacker - got inside my account and started spamming messages - it was in the early days - I emailed their support and they gave me back my account.

    I also had a similar problem - with You tube although I never had that many videos on my site and after emailing them they changed my passwords and restored my access.

    But mine was a hacking problem - which is different from yours- I still got a message from You Tube though.

    Its very true though - there is a very important message in this for all of us !
    Take care
    Hope you get it sorted out.

  23. Alex Newell

    The main point here is to build on your own vre and not depend much on other people's vre.

    Robert I just remembered Shawn Collins blog post http://blog.affiliatetip.com/archives/confessions-of-a-digg-spammer/

    - a similar high handed attitude from the owners.

    On a smaller note I have had sites on Hub zapped and there's lots of info re Tumbler blogs.

    Why the heck can't TG submit from various different I.P. addresses - it could be extra value service?

    Frankly tho' all my experience brings me to the point that I want all technology to be simple and in my control.

    What you can't control will control you.

    Is that paranoid?

    Anyone?

    !

    ;-)

    Alex

  24. John Mauldin

    The YouTube event sucks big time. Sorry to hear that, Robert.

    I don't want to use too much bandwidth on my host server so I decided to begin using AmazonS3 which is very inexpensive. Still, I have not done that as yet. I was also entertaining the use of Viddler as every video I have seen transmits seamlessly. Any ideas, input? John Mauldin

  25. Debi

    Thanks for sharing the lesson, Robert, and I'm truly sorry it had to be at your expense. I'll keep a good thought that you'll find a way to be reinstated. I actually think you're likely to stumble upon one with the right mix of patience and persistence, so I'm glad to see you haven't given up on trying.

    I'm also glad to see your sense of humor is intact... GREAT line: The moral of the story is YouTube throws great parties, but not trustworthy enough to watch your kids. A good frame, perhaps, within which to view the entire internet marketing space? Good luck!

  26. Michael Belba

    BUMMER.....Robert.

    On the good news front, I belong to Traffic Geyser, and they just changed their submission process to be timed. A minimum of a 12 hour submission or you can set it to run for days so you aren't submitting to 30 video sites at one time - which does look a bit suspicious.

    That doesn't help you I know, but it is a nice change.

    Good luck with YouTube Robert, hope you get to the bottom of it all....

    Michael

  27. Elisabeth Kuhn

    Wow, what a bummer, Robert.

    I hope one or more of those contact emails
    or phone numbers work.

    I just discovered that the xiosoft instant
    teleseminar service help phone number no longer
    has a live person at it, though they do respond
    by way of the help center. There seems to be
    a pattern of growing inaccessibility (or
    money saving, I suppose).

    Maybe a few more help requests might get you
    to a live helpful person, possibly one with
    a live email address too.

    Your incident makes me wonder about
    my new articlemarketingrobot.com video
    submission service, which had a lot of
    problems so far (posting incomplete videos)
    so I haven't really used it much.

    At its full strength, it submits to 19 sites,
    something I have yet to take advantage of. I'm
    not even signed up to most of those.

    And now, I'm wondering if it may not have been
    a good thing that I haven't -- coz I could see
    how that could get me in trouble too.

    Maybe I should stick with submitting my videos
    by hand...

    And yes, hosting them on my own server too.

    Speaking of server hosting:

    According to the friendly support staff
    at Hostgator (to date still freely accessible
    by phone 24/7!), they now have unlimited
    bandwidth etc. (yes, even in the baby plan,
    which costs less than 10 bucks a month), so theoretically, I should be able to host them
    on there and not run into any trouble.

    The videos would take forever to upload of
    course, but once there...

    And that's before I've even gotten the
    talking head videos...

    Good luck with YouTube. I agree with
    Dennis' suggestion to turn this into
    lemonade by way of a report on it once
    this has been resolved.

    Elisabeth

  28. GregoryBurrus

    Hey Robert
    What a wake up call because we all love the internet but always feel queasy that we are putting our info on someone else free site, yet who wants to go back to hosting our own servers. It seems we are more at their mercy - then we know.

    Believe me I just ad the same situation happen in WordPress.com - where they took me down because I started using tracking links in Blogroll so i would know were traffic comes from. They literally send me an email notice in the dashboard to contact them - vague as all heck - and boom - literally access to building links was gone instantly - 3 days later still no access ... luckily I only use them to drive traffic..

    Funny part is it makes a great case for some one to come out with real customer service on the internet. I can't think of anywhere in the offline world were we accept "sorry its a problem , but we will not tell you specifically why"

  29. Chris

    Hey Robert,

    That's sad news - Sorry to hear it. :-(

    An alternative is to set up your own Amazon S3 account and store you videos - bandwidth is no problem, they use optical disks and have all tier 1 connections, for fast response and very low cost - I have about 250 vids and I get a bill once per month for about $125.00, including my cloud server.

    I still use TG for distribution and public awareness, but run all my vids through my S3 or cloud server, which I can use to tag and brand my own vids and player. Then there is no loss at any of the sites. Maximum traffic with almost no stress.

    This is the same thing I do for all my clients using the object code in the page or blog.

    Your a smart guy, but if you want or need some info, drop me a note.

    Hope to see you this weekend.

    Best,
    Chris

  30. Rick

    Robert,

    Read with interest your blog posting on being banned by Youtube. First off, that sucks you were banned by Youtube and you did provide good advice agout hosting your own videos. An interesting note was that you stated "don't use Traffic Geyser", and then right above this statement is a clickable link to Traffic Geyser, which I suspect is an affiliate link. So which is it- don't use Traffic Geyser, or use Traffic Geyser but make sure you use my affiliate link when you purchase TG ?

    Rick

  31. Robert Plank

    Michael, I have been using timed submissions as far back as November 2008. I used to schedule a whole month's worth of video posts (one per day for 30 days) then go back to my business. At one point I was getting one sale a day from the right videos.

    Chris, my dedicated server is robust enough that I don't even have to host stuff on S3, but it was nice to double dip. I could add a quick video to my blog and also build better YouTube and Google rankings doing it.

  32. Rob Barclay

    That is pathetic! :(

    Its only good for posting your wife singing with headphones on while cleaning :D


    Click Here to Play Video

  33. Alex Rawlings

    Robert,

    Today it's YouTube... tomorrow, PayPal?

    You do realize, don't you, that by almost exclusively using PayPal as a payment processor, you're opening yourself up to getting a notice from them that your account is frozen / terminated? Seriously, do you have a backup plan? I've yet to hear of anyone randomly being shut down by ClickBank. PayPal, on the other hand... well, you already know. :-) And as for ClickBank having more fees, etc, who really cares when ones net sales exceed $15,000 a month?! I just want the peace of mind that I'll be paid and not be randomly shut down for some supposed "violation" of their AUP.

    People... wake up and think about what I just said.

    Alex

  34. CG

    METACAFE HAS PRODUCER REWARDS...THEY PAY YOU PER-VIEW AFTER A CERTAIN NO. OF VIEWS...A COUPLE OF PEOPLE HAVE QUIT THEIR DAY JOBS.

  35. Ryan Healy

    The same thing happens occasionally on other sites like Digg.com. I've never had my account suspended, but they've deleted stories I've submitted for violating terms of service.

    The problem is, terms of service are often so vague they can usually just ban you on a whim.

    And the bigger a site/service gets, the greater risk of getting banned for some obscure catch-all rule.

    Anyway, sorry to hear that happened. Hope you can use the emails/addresses to get your account reinstated.

    Ryan

  36. ipl cricket

    Its so bad on Youtube/Google's part...

    All they ever reply with is canned message and a link to TOS page and you have to figure on your own what went wrong.

    We really need a strong competitor soon.

    Ani

  37. Kevin Baker

    Robert,

    Sorry to hear of your YOUTUBE demise. YouTube is a great resource and I use it to post my vidoe online. I tried Traffic Geyser a while ago and did not like the "eggs in one basket" approach.

    I am sure AmazonS3 will still host the vidoe's booted from Youtube.

    Good luck man in getting back the 5%.

    Kevin

  38. Private Label Rights

    What a pain in arse but I feel your pain. We've had several accounts removed and videos gone in a flash as well.

    I'm starting to believe there's rabid and sometimes jealous flaggers, like on craigs list, with nothing better to do.

    Regardless you've set the record straight in building your OWN sites with content and so right you are.

    I think BIG G may have overlooked all the potential copyright issues themselves when they forked over big bucks for the Tube.

  39. John Deck

    Regretfully YouTube, google and others act in pretty heavy hand manner. To terminate an account and then not provide any reasons or recourse is simply bad business. No none-Internet business could get away with that and stay in business. Yet these companies do it everyday.

    I posted a simple ad on craigslist for a car I was selling. Within a couple of days it was flagged and removed. It was similar to others and I have not a clue as to why. And with craigslist as others, you have no recourse.

    Robert, keeps us updated if you have any success with YT. Also the TG connection concerns me. I have recommended TG to clients, and do not want some local business get banned for no apparent reason becuase of TG.

    John Deck

  40. Daniel

    Big brother's knocking...

    That's one of the saddest internet marketing stories I've ever heard. How on earth could informative videos have gotten flagged down?

    It could only be a jealous competitor.

  41. Kenneth Washington

    Wow Robert!

    Sorry to see your misfortunes with YouTube.

    Unfortunately I believe you've fallen victum to a flood of half baked schemes to use YouTube to "Get your site quickly ranked on Google." Even programs are turning PLR articles into badly produced videos which people SPAM sites like YouTube to get ranked quickly.

    This will become a common theme in the coming weeks for people using YouTube for marketing IM products of any kind using shaky tactics. As you know, YouTube has now surpassed Yahoo.com for monthly searches done each month.

    Your suggestions about hiring someone to submit your well-produced videos manually to sites like YouTube is the only way to keep your account from getting terminated without warning. DO NOT use any sort of auto-posting script for the footprint it leaves will be found, and you'll pay for it!

    Thanks again for alerting everyone about what YouTube is doing.

    -Kenny

  42. Robert Plank

    Alex, PayPal isn't exclusively my processor. In fact I have had PayPal go down for maintenance during launches and I switched everything over to Clickbank. I can move all my sites over to Clickbank with one click if I need to.

    As far as recommending Traffic Geyser, I'm still going to use them (I'm paid for a year), just not with YouTube, at least until I get a virtual assistant going.

  43. ERic Su

    there's one thing you can do. Use a proxy server software, hide your ip and create a new account. I recommend anonymizer

  44. Sid

    Man, you must be really miffed. That's such a bummer when a big company gives you the cold shoulder and won't tell you why. It's like getting dumped by a lover for no reason.

    I started using Video Submit Wizard. It's a LOT less expensive, seems to work better, and runs from your own computer. I think it will give you more control over video submission.

    May as well skip YouTube anyway. I'm sure that some folks make money from their videos on YouTube, but my guess that it is a small number. You have far more control over the videos if you host them yourself.

    If anyone is interested, here's my affiliate link to Video Submit Wizard (not hiding anything):

    http://bwordswrit.vswizard.hop.clickbank.net/

  45. Russell

    Yes, this is bizzare. Youtube may be a Juggernaut and power unto themselves but they're not indispensable. Recall that Rome was at it's most arrogant prior to its demise. You have alternatives Robert as we all do, so lets use them an send a message to the big guns at YT.

    I was just reading a very sad post last night in which a 15 year old American boy named Kevin Tork died after watching some radical peer group Youtube videos on the "choking game" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30385561/. Youtube claim that they're not complicit and also insist there's nothing they can do to remove or police the videos. We now know this to be complete BS and very convenient hypocrisy.

    I for one will be changing the way that I utilize videos on my sites. Self hosting or AmazonS3 is the way to go. Certainly I will still use Youtube for my own linking and convenience but if they trash-can me I really won't give a shit to be honest!

    95% safe 5% MIA,.. not too bad Robert,... you have the technology,- you can rebuild them :-)

  46. Scott

    Hey Robert,

    Sorry to see one of the good ones gets the YouTube Axe. Sort of like the Google Slap etc.etc.
    Thats a good lesson for all of us isn't it...as online marketers we have to be flexible and and
    use several streams for traffic, income etc.

    You have a great point in being certain to host your videos on your sight.

    Thanks for the insights.

    Scott

  47. Dan from Acne Help

    As some here have already mentioned, I believe as well that often it is just jealous flaggers angry that someone else might actually make a buck. And, of course, competitors in the niche as well.

    Recently, saw that a couple of my own posts were removed from some social sites. In one case, it had to be a competitor flagging because all the other posts up there were my competitors' and their posts were still there even though they offered nothing special. I was tempted to flag all of those in turn, but I'm better than that. Besides, what goes around comes around. Their bad karma will catch up to them.

    I agree. Posting on other sites really isn't worth the time anymore since there's no control and it can all be gone at the click of a button. From here on out, I'll be focusing on putting the content on my own sites. Funny...that's basically what I did with my very first site and you know what? I hardly ever update it, wrote only one article for it and now years later, that one site gets more traffic than all my other sites combined. Looks like I'm coming full circle to what I should have stuck with from the get go. Doh!

  48. Mike Robbins

    Wow that really really sucks!

    Traffic Geyser has done this before to other people I've read about. Sorry to hear about that Robert. I will take your suggestions above about submitting myself.

    I think in the end that's the only way to get around that problem.

  49. Jonathan

    Hi Robert

    Just wondering why you refuse to setup a new account?

    The worst they can do to you is ban you, again.

    Likewise, they've evidenced that they clearly do not think very much about these decisions, so the chances that they actually have something in place that would flag you (AND penalize you) as a repeat user is highly unlikely.

    Just my 2 cents.

  50. Regina Smola

    Hello Robert,

    Sorry to hear about your troubles with YouTube. However, if you have lost any of your videos and would like to re-download them, they are still on YouTube's server.

    Example:
    Here is your video on Gmail Canned Responses Increase

    Banned:


    Click Here to Play Video

    Available: http://www.youtube.com/v/Cscje9LJUjw

    You just do a little presto-chango on the URL and they're there.

    I found this little tip on another blog (not related to me) at: http://www.reelseo.com/watch-banned-blocked-youtube-videos/

    I hope that helps and you can get your account back.

  51. Stephen A

    Thanks Robert . . .
    For letting us know what happened.

    The advice not to put our businesses into the hands of others is very sound. Nothing is sure in this business (or this world) nowadays. Even the Internet itself - wouldn't take much for an angry terrorist to knock it out.

    Guess the moral is "Put your eggs in many baskets."

  52. David Fitch

    Robert,

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto!

    Google has shut down adwords and adsense accounts of mine, shut down gmail accounts of mine, totally de-indexed a significant money site of mine. None of their actions had merit or did I get an explanation of why they did what they did. Their crazyness works in reverse as well. Most of the actions sited above were reinstated by Google without notice or explanation. I still have some gmail accounts that are shut down for some unknown reason.

    Go Figure! I would rather call the Federal government and try to get an answer than Google.

    David

  53. Jayson

    weak. sounds like big brother to me.

  54. JD

    That's harsh.

    Personally I think YouTube videos embedded on your own blog/site look unprofessional and like you cant afford a clean way to host and display them without all YouTube's additions.

    Use Amazon S3 to host the videos that get displayed on your own website, it will keep your visitors onsite and focused.

    And as you say... upload copies to YouTube, Viddler, Revver, and DailyMotion to drive traffic towards you.

    Any attempt (TG included) to automate things is an action you are losing control over and yet it will still bear your good name.

  55. Sherice

    It seems that any and all of Google's services seem to suspend accounts on a whim these days. I would hope that a little professionalism, tact and facts could get your account back, but failing that, it's good to know that there are other third-party video services you could use to at least put your video on your blog so you wouldn't be using up a lot of bandwidth when you launch your site.

  56. David John

    What a bummer! I have made a posted a few youtube videos and the traffic that I get from it is high quality. They spend the most time and work through more pages than any other visitor. My partner and I were considering trying out Traffic Geyser, now we have to reconsider.

    Thanks for the insight on what videos sites produce the best traffic and seo results.

  57. Luke B.

    My experience with any Google property is that their word is final, no second chances- and they won't even consider the possibility that they made an error. In fact, they are too big to CARE if they've made an error.

    That is the cost with one company controlling so much web traffic.

    You're better off keeping it on your own site anyway, why build their business for them?

  58. Dennis Wagoner

    Well isn't that just peachy!

    You can always tell when the backend is in charge when something such as this occurs.

    They keep all types of crud, say nothing about it, and get rid of good info which has a chance to actually help people.

    I appreciate your content, and am happy to hear you've not been one of those individuals who put all their eggs in one basket, just to have it taken away.

    This is one sad story which needs much repeating, so others will know what can happen with YouTube when using it to build an internet business.

    Dennis Wagoner

  59. Jimmy Roos

    Hi Robert,

    Sorry to hear what happened to you.

    Happened to me too, but fortunately for me I didn't have a lot of videos then. So I just signed up with another account.

    Hope you can get it sorted out though.

    Best

  60. Doug Parker

    Robert,

    That really sucks, but it sure sounds just like any of Google's businesses. Judge, Jury, and Hangman.

    Shows the need for services like Amazon doesn't it.

    Hope it all works out, but puts me on notice as to what to watch out for in the future. I have been looking at YouTube as a primary tool. Looks like there needs to be an alternative to that plan.

    Here's wishing you the best.

  61. Ric Raftis

    What another fine example of people being "guilty until proven innocent" which totally flies in the face of all democratic constitutions. Yet the internet seems to have its own set of laws and there is often not even a right of appeal.

    The overriding rule above all seems to be that "he who has the gold makes the rules".

    I was once banned by my hosting company as a spammer for sending out a Merry Xmas message to a list! No email to ask me as a customer what was happening, just an immediate block on my account.

    This sort of thing cannot happen in Australia and New Zealand at least because of our Fair Trading Acts.

    You may recall a few months ago when it was mooted in New Zealand to pass legislation to implement a "guilty before innocent" clause with regard to the net. Hundreds of people blacked out their avatars on Twitter in protest. This campaign, along with others resulted in the legislation not proceeding.

    For me, well I host my videos on cheap hosting for bandwidth reasons and pull them onto my sites rather than risk being banned by video sites. Mind you, I still use them, but not for sales videos.

    I wish you well in your endeavors to regain your account and will follow the story with interest.

    All the best,

    Ric

  62. Mike Koenigs

    Hi Robert,

    This is Mike Koenigs from Traffic Geyser.

    First off, I'm really sorry you're having problems with your YouTube account. That blows.

    I wish you would have sent a message through to support and to me before blaming Traffic Geyser for your problems.

    Our (and my personal focus) is to protect our customer's interests and provide value. I'm not saying this as a pitch - the Internet is a SMALL community and rumors like this aren't good for us, especially those that are unfounded and unscientific.

    We have a significantly more complex system than you're suggesting for submitting videos. We aren't posting videos from a single IP address.

    And what happened to you happens to many YouTube users who aren't Traffic Geyser users. Just do some searches on Google for proof.

    YouTube and Google are broken. :)

    I can assure you that our team will do our own due dilligence and research to make sure that whatever YouTube *might* be doing, that it doesn't happen to our members.

    If this WAS happening on a regular basis, I'd know about it - and it isn't. We have very sophisticated tracking systems in place to monitor "unusual" behavior from every site we submit to.

    Secondly, I'll leave you with some thoughts - specifically when you say:

    "YouTube, Viddler, Revver, and DailyMotion by hand... or submit them yourself. Those are the only four video sites that bring you decent traffic and SEO anyway."

    This simply isn't true.

    If you submit with Traffic Geyser (all the sites we support), pay attention to results, you'll see the video sites that generate icon image results and positioning come from the COMBINATION of all the submission locations we support -

    - Video sites
    - Social bookmarking sites
    - Social networking sites
    - Twitter, facebook
    - Unlimited WordPress blogs
    - Podcasts
    - Podcast directories
    - XML feeds

    And we now do something we call "smart submit" - this reduces "footprinting" which limits the results that you get in Google.

    And one last thing you might want to take note of that would have saved you a lot of headaches.

    If you use our custom video player, you can link the player to a YouTube video.

    This way you won't see YouTube's ads, display junk or your competitors video links appear after your video finishes playing.

    There's something super cool that happens though that you'll really like...

    We actually copy the file from YouTube's servers to our own servers and play back that file.

    Why? Playback speed, performance and it prevents that rotten thing that happened to you from ever happening again. You'll never lose your stuff. Even if YouTube shuts your account down.

    (the added benefit is Traffic Geyser will upload your videos, YouTube will compress to FLV, we can autopost the videos to your blog, link to a custom player and copy the FLV to our servers...)

    We host your videos. And yes, you can even copy the files to your own hard drive if you want to.

    (the custom player lets you embed buttons, forms and redirects with your videos too - it's cool)

    If you have any comments, please feel free to contact me directly through our support desk at http://www.TrafficGeyser.com/support/

    Seriously - ANY problems, ideas, suggestions, whatever, I'm all ears. I use Traffic Geyser every day. I want to know what your experiences are - good, bad or whatever.

    Please do me a favor (can I ask for a favor?) - before dropping a big bomb on everyone on the net, check with me first. I'll tell you if we're having problems and what we're doing to fix it - I won't blow smoke up your butt, ok?

    :)

    Mike

  63. Bryan Bliss

    I think we are gonna have to rally the team together, load up the van, and charge after the big Monopoly Bully who cut you off from your own hard won resources.
    this sounds like a Mission for the A-team.

    as long as we win,............ nobody gets hurt.
    the fight aint over till WE say it is.
    Live Strong brotha
    Bryan Bliss
    (aka Faceman)

  64. Bev Clement

    As far as I can find their email address is

    service [at] youtube.com

    HTH

  65. Banned from YouTube | Dominate Your Local Market!

    [...] his blog post from yesterday, “Banned from YouTube,” Robert explains how he thinks Traffic Geyser may have been involved in his problem. This same [...]

  66. Chuck

    It doesn't surprise me that YouTube canned you without reason or notice. YouTube is now owned by Google and that is how Google bans adsense accounts. No warning and no reason.

  67. John Ritz

    That does indeed suck, Robert. But give it some time and there'll be a lot of Twitter users who have built up a 50k+ following who see their account zapped overnight.

    Great advice you gave, don't put all your eggs in a third-party site's basket.

  68. Jim Somchai,

    Robert,

    Sorry to hear that you got banned and thank you to share how to prevent it for us.

    Just one thing, can't you open a new account with Youtube using proxy service?

    Cheers,

    Jim

  69. Miguel Costa

    Hey Robert,

    That's a very stupid thing when you're rejected and even don't have the right to know why it happen?

    I think it's the "Dark Side" of the Net force.

    But i'm not posting here to cry over spilled milk.

    I think among other very good suggestions given above by the pals, you need to protect your realstate websites, videos, audios, files or whatever resources your were using, behind a technology called "Server Cloud Hosting". Unlike regular hosting, 'cloud' hosting automatically load-balances your site over a clustered network of servers, ensuring near-zero downtime...Even after a big launch.

    I'm using it in a new membership site that i have started recently, it's awesome and i highly recommend it. The guy that introduce me to this new high performance service is called Lee Benson and if needed i can send you his contact.

    You can see my new site in action here:

    http://www.discover-internet-marketing-secrets.com

    So i'm quite sure there's a bunch of new technologies out there that allow us to avoid to be humiliated by sites like "www.You-Too-Will-Be-Intubated.com" and similars, that don't show up any respect for their users and content providers. Lousy CRM, ins't it?

    Likewise how it will be if everyone would turn the back to them without any further explanation?

  70. Dean Kennedy

    Bugger! Drats about that for you... it must be very frustrating. I've had accounts on a couple of services disappear over the years -- and find it infuriating that I really can't do anything about it.

    I use Viddler for my vids for now -- albeit just two testimonials so far! I found the quality much better than YouTube anyway.

    It makes a lot of sense of course what you're saying about self-hosting -- which is why I've run my own blogs with the self-hosted WordPress app for the past few years, rather than rely on the free blogging sites and be at the mercy of their changing user policies.

    Guess it goes the same for videos too -- thanks for sharing! Some good comments too here about other paid options.

  71. Azman

    Hi,

    YouTube is becoming a monster. They start to treat people like you very badly.

    Usually happens when companies became overly popular. Those running the show lost their human side because they thought their companies are invincible. And when that happens, they are digging their own graves.

    There are many examples out there. Take a look at how many giant companies became oblivion. Totally forgotten.

    So don't follow YouTube's footsteps.

  72. Damon

    Hey Robert,

    Sorry to hear that. Doesn't surprise me. Something similar happened to me with google adsense.

    This is one of the problems that I always wondered about when using something like Traffic Geyser, which kept me from using it.

    This is the same reason that auto responder companies don't allow you to upload your mailing lists into their servers. They share too and shared IP's will usually get you banned at some point when someone spams, etc. and you are on the same IP address. Traffice Geyser has no safeguards in place to keep this from happening to you.

    However there are a couple of pieces of software out there that you actually use from your own desktop so only you are using your IP address.

    I don't usually post these types of links into blogs like this, but one that I have been using for about a month now with great results can be found here:

    http://www.drdamonthornton.com/recommends/videosubmit

    It is all automated, has 31 video sites incorporated, allows multiple profiles for different campaigns/logins to each video site, is reasonably priced, and is updated regularly to keep the video uploads working as the sites occasionally change their upload parameters. This is important too because I have had software that was unsupported that once it quit working, it was useless.

    Hope this is useful for everyone.

    Damon

  73. Roszuei

    @Damon-
    VIRUS at your linked page.
    4/29/2009 1:03:34 AM Web page http://www.drdamonthornton.com/recommends/ default.css Internet Explorer Detected: HEUR:Trojan.Script.Iframer

  74. Niche Finder

    I have seen similar stories so many times in the past. The most important take away from this is that if you are putting any kind of content on a third-party website you are entirely at their mercy. No warning, no discussion, no attempt to remedy the situation, just immediately banned, with a vague reason given.

    Your comments about the top video sites to submit to for SEO and traffic were educational as well, interesting to see that Vimeo was not present.

    Thanks for a great post, I hope it wakes some people up to the risks they are taking with their content.

  75. Sam Odiaka

    Robert,

    Sorry to hear of your bad luck!

    Don't worry, I'm sure somebody in YT will see common sense and reinstate your account(s). All it will take is time, not today may be tomorrow!

    Press on making more of those wonderful videos

    Peace.

    Sam O.

  76. JanPaul Wittebol

    Hi Robert,

    Thank you for letting us all know about this. And sorry to hear about your misfortunes of course.

    So what can we learn? I think Dan from Acne Help is right.

    Less is more.

    Just a few articles and videos submitted to only a handful of directories is all you should do, because in the end it's more effective AND less work.

    So skipping masssubmission and limiting yourself in how much stuff you submit, is really something to consider.

    Take care,
    JanPaul

  77. Sajin

    I lost my gmail ID recently when someone used an orkut bug which apparently lets people hijack a session.

    The frustration I went through to realise it is not possible to talk to or message a human at Google even when you lose an ID in use for 5 years is what am reminded of seeing this.

    You can consider hosting videos at Amazon S3. The hosting is cheap and server quality is good, and the owner of content is not some "do no evil" but you. That space (bucket) can be referred to as a subdomain to your domain.

  78. Sophie

    Robert, I was suspended from Twitter, and I sent them a message and they reinstated the account, though they set a cap of 2000 I can follow... which didn't help much, but I am sharing this to show that there are real people on the other end that can reinstate your account... if you can get through to them.
    xoxo
    Sophie

  79. ValSRQ

    I started getting email from AdWords saying that I recently set up a campaign that violated their TOS, specifically by promoting a site that violated copyrights.

    The trouble was that my last active campaign with this account was December, 2008. To be on the safe side, I made sure all of the campaigns were off (and they were). I continued to get emails and "canned responses" until I finally DELETED the campaigns. Oh, well they were not in violation of anything and they weren't busting the bank, but I didn't want to take ANY chances with them.

    Good luck1

  80. Damon

    Thanks for the heads up Roszuei,

    I don't know why your Internet Explorer is showing a virus. Mine does not, and this is a link to his actual sales page. It is going through a cloaked link, but any virus would have to be on his page which I am not detecting.

    What are you using to scan?

  81. Roger

    Robert, I hope you are making progress with getting your account reinstated.

    Here is another blog post about your situation:
    http://www.awesomeim.com/swine-flu-banned-by-youtube/

    Good luck.

  82. Yves Marie Danie

    Hi Robert,

    So sorry to hear!

    Mike Stewart is the BEST answer to this
    situation. Here is where you can find
    his sites:

    http://www.s3mediaplayer.com/ (SEE THIS FIRST)

    http://www.internetvideoguy.com/

    http://www.internetaudioguy.com/

  83. Banned From Youtube

    [...] If you want to read the full story click here [...]

  84. J.R. Jackson (Internet's $8-Million Man)

    Robert, I have almost everything you make and cannot find this one program. I was telling a friend about it and want to send him to your site.

    It is a php program which if someone returns to your site later it tells them that if they join, sign, buy etc you would give them something extra.

    I believe it is tied to their computer via a cookie so each time they return it could sweeten the offer.

    This friend of mine wants to increase his conversion for a product he sells online and I think your php program would be perfect.

    Thanks for your help,

    J.R.

  85. Viral video methods

    [...] interesting information, Robert Plank thinks he was banned from youtube for using Traffic Geyser: Banned From YouTube [...]

  86. Frank Sousa

    Robert, you disappeared on me after we met briefly in Orlando last week. I was going to explain to you why it's VERY unlikely that Traffic Geyser had anything to do with Google banning your site.

    I won't go into the technical details, but just suffice to say that these video sites VERY SELDOM see the same IP number. There are MANY reasons that these sites can ban you... I understand why you might think that it would be a server IP issue, which we LONG SINCE considered and fixed so that it's VERY UNLIKELY that it was an IP issue.

    Frank Sousa
    Co-Developer
    Traffic Geyser

  87. Alvin Phang

    Hey Dude,

    I got banned too! but not because using some special tool.. I still dont know why :P

  88. Robert Plank

    Hey Frank, where do the extra IPs come from? Are these public proxy servers?

    I don't want you to think I am bad mouthing Traffic Geyser... I love TG and am paid for a full year... and I did post in the forums, the only response was "create a new account from a neighbor's computer" ... which I am not going to do.

    The only remotely black hat technique I was using with my videos was Traffic Geyser, so either that's the reason or someone mass-flagged my videos... but I'm not sure YouTube is that dumb to instantly close an account just because one person decided to flag a ton of videos.

  89. Valentin

    Hi Robert,

    I think this year something "big" happening ... :-P

    First Joel Comm was banned by amazon dot com. Pfff ..

    Now you got something similar on youtube ...

    Conclusions ?

    - both amazon and youtube - and tons of other sites, from google to CJ - make use (read abuse) of ... automate watchguards. Spiders. Sofwares. NON-humans.
    - once a site leading team reach to amazing conclusion is ok to hyper-automate, next step - acceptance of "collateral damage" as part of the biz - become something natural.
    - therefore, some innocents getting smashed along the "enforce our policy no matter against who, once is broken" way, that will only make them say one to another: "you saw that ? Is the exception that validate the rule".

    So, I can see only two ways out of this :

    this >


    Click Here to Play Video

    "Like a roller in the ocean, life is motion
    Move on
    Like a wind that's always blowing, life is flowing
    Move on
    Like the sunrise in the morning, life is dawning
    Move on
    How I treasure every minute
    Being part of it, being in it
    With the urge to move on "

    or

    this >


    Click Here to Play Video

    "Our brains are on fire
    With the feeling to kill
    And it will not go away
    Until our dreams are fulfilled
    There is only one thing
    On our minds
    Don't try running away
    Cause you're the one we will find"

    (use of youtube videos are on purpose :-P)

    I recommend first option. Is far better (and not imply trouble with 'law enforcement forces' :-)) )

    Ah .. use of own host + domain for videos ? I'm the biggest fan, but .. one question :
    How about that quarter of internet marketing promoting the "you don't need a site ..." or "I will also give you a site to ..." ? :-)))

    Valentin Hornicar
    Bucuresti, Romania

    ps: this comment was written with joke mode {on}

  90. Luv

    Follow the rules. Advertisement is not allowed on YouTube, Yahoo Answers, Twitter, etc.

  91. Robert Plank

    Where does it say anywhere that advertisement is not allowed on YouTube or Twitter?

    There is definitely nothing at all wrong with sharing a tip and then mentioning a URL at the end... why do you think YouTube automatically hyperlinks any URLs you add to your description?

  92. Valentin

    @Luv, not only that is allowed, but on my end of internet, I have to manually disable ads on bottom of youtube clips ..
    As about twitter, I haven;t see anything against advertising. At contrary I would say .. is silently encouraged, until is not spam ...
    About Yahoo, things are even more clear :
    "DEALINGS WITH ADVERTISERS

    Your correspondence or business dealings with, or participation in promotions of, advertisers found on or through the Yahoo! Services, including payment and delivery of related goods or services, and any other terms, conditions, warranties ..."

    - advertisers found on or through the Yahoo! Services -

    It's obviously that if advertisment wouldn't be allowed, it wont be talking about "found on or trough" ...

    The only "legal explanation" for Robert's account deleting is that he maybe made "abuse" against "But we don't permit hate speech (speech which attacks .." - he sure express his hate against kilers and rapers and/or maybe he said he dislike .NET programming ...

    mwuahahahahahahahahhaha

    I bet Bill Gates's fortune against heavy industry of Mozambique that all was an software error and - once account permanently deleted - all they could do was to try to cover mistake with some "breakin the rules" shinning BS ...

  93. my youtube account got supsended...anyone go through this?

    [...] Re: my youtube account got supsended...anyone go through this? Were you using traffic geyser or something like that? Robert Plank thinks that's why they banned him: Banned From YouTube [...]

  94. Valentin

    Robert,

    I hope you read this ...

    A free alternative for Traffic Geyser :

    http://www.tubemogul.com/about/features.php

    "Founded in 2006 by online video buffs who met while in graduate school and won the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, TubeMogul's objective from the start has been to empower online video producers, advertisers and the online video industry by providing publishing tools and insightful, easy to interpret analytics.

    Through its acquisition of Illumenix in October 2008, TubeMogul is also able to offer rich engagement and performance metrics to video sharing sites, content creators and advertisers."

    They support this videosites (25 sites):

    http://www.tubemogul.com/about/video_sites.php

    Hope is usefull ..

  95. Frank Sousa

    Robert, as for those extra IPs from Traffic Geyser I hesitate to say any more here in a public forum as to who they're registered to etc. Let's suffice to say that they are definitely NOT public proxies OK?

    And we continue to monitor this situation very closely. One user today wondering if his video was dropped due to an ip issue, we did some research and found that YouTube had thought that he was using copyrighted material.

    That's pretty common.

    I've seen them do the same thing with the free background music that we provide to our users, which I had created SPECIFICALLY for Traffic Geyser users to put into their videos.

    We've never been able to find an issue with IP numbers being a problem other than rumors.

    In another comment, a user suggesting using one of the "Free" video submission services. Look at the sites that they submit to. Things like stupidvideos.com doesn't really fit very well with most of OUR customers or the readers of this blog.

    And it's important to also cover the blog sites, the social bookmarking sites and the podcast sites, not just video.

    Frank Sousa
    Co-developer
    Traffic Geyser

  96. Robert Plank

    Frank,

    I have spoken to a couple of other internet marketers banned from YouTube also for no reason (BJ Min and Alvin Phang) and they weren't even using Traffic Geyser, so it looks like you are right. For some reason YouTube is cracking down on some of the marketing videos, but only a select few, and there isn't anything wrong with them.

    The blog, social bookmarking and podcast stuff sites weren't bringing me any traffic, but that could be because my videos are internet marketing related... who knows.

    I would really like to see TG submit to Viddler but I don't mind submitting to one extra site.

  97. Mike

    Hey I got banned from TubeMogul.com after I asked a question. They just shut my account down (well, one of my accounts). Guess they didn't like my stuff. Not as bad as being shut off YouTube but the point is TubeMogul is not a good alternative to Traffic Geyser in most cases.

  98. PeopleLocator

    Wow! That's crazy! Thanks for the insight on the many glitchy little quirks we run into as Internet Marketers.

    Google is going to have a large degree of control over any of it's partner sites, or any site that gets some of there revenue. Squidoo is going through a major face lift as well, due to the 'Google Crack Down'. As they evolve, we will as well!

    Of course that may not be the case with your situation, just an opinion.

    And I also agree with Dennis on the whole 'Make lemonade out of these lemons' gesture.

    Best Regards

  99. Helen

    Oh man.. that sucks. Did you ever get that account up and running again?

  100. Izzy

    Robert,

    Do you use "free" viddler, or the paid account?

  101. Will

    Guys,

    I'm feeling the pain. So here is what I recommend...

    You see, although Mike and his team at Traffic Geyser do their best to keep ahead of Google, as soon as methods of promotion like this become more mainstream, the less effective they are for all of us.

    As with any of these techniques, the more people that jump on board, the easier it becomes for Google to spot certain patterns and update their algorithms to counteract.

    I have used Traffic Geyser and still do, it's a great service, but I also know that youtube is an important part of my traffic arsenal. For this reason, and the fact that Google (who now owns Youtube) we know is always on top of their game, I will always submit my Youtube videos manually.

    So do a manual submission of your videos on the important video sites, the ones that are brining you the most traffic like Youtube, Google video, etc, and then use a service like Traffic Geyser to help with the mass submission of all other sites.

    That way your content is still getting the same syndication however you are removing a lot of the risk with your most valuable sites.

    Just a thought...

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