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Showing posts from 2018

Limit related videos on embedded videos to those from the same channel

If you embed videos on your website or blog, and get the embed code from the video watch page, you may have noticed that YouTube no longer lets you choose to disable related videos from displaying at the end of the video.

YouTube has updated the embedded video player so you can't completely turn off related videos and you can't disable the video title or channel avatar from displaying. You can, however, limit the related videos that display to videos on the same channel.

This change was announced in the YouTube Developer documentation in August, but it was pretty much unnoticed until its implementation now.

The good news is that you can use the "rel" parameter to limit the related videos shown to those on the same channel as the embedded video. So if you watch one of my videos embedded on my site, I can set it so that the related videos you are shown are all mine too.

How to use the "rel" parameter to limit related videos to videos on the same YouTube chann…

Weekly Update - October 13, 2018: Google+ Shutdown, Pixel 3, Google Photos

This was a sad week for us avid Plussers, as Google announced the consumer version of Google+ will be shut down next year. There was good news too with new Google hardware with integrated AI and Assistant, new Photos features and shiny new look and name for the Google Product Experts program. This week’s update is a bit of a monster, so I've divided it into sections.

The shutdown of Google+

I am still working on a detailed write-up up my thoughts on the demise of Google+, but here’s an overview of what’s happening: on Monday, Google announced they had discovered (and fixed) a bug that may have revealed some user Google+ profile information to developers. Oh, and because of low usage and the “significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ product that meets consumers’ expectations” the consumer version of Google+ will shut down by August 2019. The official Google+ Page didn’t make even a minimal announcement until the next day. There have been no details ab…

What to do if your YouTube Partner Program application was rejected for Duplication

YouTube has clarified that the YouTube Partner Program requires channels to have original and relevant content. Even you upload public domain movies or "fair use" video compilations, you need to "add value" to monetize that content.
YouTube started a review process for YouTube Partner Program applications in 2017. Formerly there wasn't a review of a channel's content before monetization was enabled, and acceptance was usually fast and automatic.

With the new reviews, a number of channels have had their application rejected for the ambiguously-named "Duplication".

Information provided to rejected Partner Program applicants on their Monetization Settings tab focused on copyright issues, which didn't always seem to apply to the creator's channel. And while it is possible to reapply after 30 days, YouTube didn't provide any guidance about what steps could be taken to improve the likelihood an application would be approved.

Now YouTube has…

Weekly Update - October 6, 2018: Podcasting, Gaming, Live Streaming

Monday is a holiday across most of the US (Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Discoverer’s Day) and Canada (Thanksgiving). If you have the day off, I hope you have fair weather, and family and good friends to celebrate with. And be sure to check out this week's great opportunities for creators, and tips and updates for webmasters, business owners, YouTubers and more.
Google’s Project Stream is looking for gamers to help to improve streaming in Chrome on desktop. They recruiting participants in the US to play the soon-to-be-released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you’re selected, you’ll have free access to the game until mid-January. Apply now!If you are looking for something a bit different from a .com domain for your website, you can now register a .page domain through Google at get.pageThe Google Podcasts Creator Program is now open for applications and looking for new voices. They are looking for applicants from a “range of geographies, backgrounds, views, voices and style…

Weekly Update - September 29, 2018: Search, Chrome, Hangouts

This week Google celebrated their 20th birthday with new search features, historical overviews, plus tips, tricks and Easter eggs. Plus there are updates for Chrome, Hangouts, Project Fi and much more.
Google has noticed people sometimes search for information about a topic over the course of several days. To help you save and organize your searches, Google is using what it calls the “Topic Layer” to help understand what you are looking for. There are new Activity Cards that show pages you’ve already visited and previous searches you’ve done on a topic. You can add links from an Activity Card into a Collection, a way to keep track of groups of links. And Google will “intelligently show subtopics” related to your search. A common reason to save and organize your searches over the course of a few days or weeks is when you are planning a vacation. Google is updating “Your Trips”, to make it easier to organize travel plans still in the works and resume planning where you last left off.Goo…

Weekly Update - September 22, 2018: YouTube Gaming, Video Conferencing, Parental Controls

Happy autumn everyone! There are updates this week for gamers, parents, and businesses and more.
The big news this week is that three years after its launch, the stand-alone YouTube Gaming will be retired, as gaming content and featurs features are integrated into YouTube proper. The new home for YouTube Gaming ( with personalized content is live, as are new individual game pages. YouTube expects this will bring more viewers to gamers’ content. The stand-alone YouTube Gaming apps will be retired in March 2019. You can now add third-party video conferencing to your Google Calendar events. You are no longer limited to Hangouts Classic or Hangouts Meet (for G Suite accounts). You can now link Webex, GoToMeeting, UberConference or Vonage to your account to set up a video call participants can join by clicking a link on their calendar.Up until this week parents could only manage the activity of their kids too young to create their own Google account. Now Google Family L…

Weekly Update - September 15, 2018: Copyright, YouTube Kids, Google+

While a lot of the tech chatter this week was about Apple’s iPhone event, Google announced updates to Google+, YouTube Kids, Hangouts Meet and more. And there was bad news for Inbox users and folks concerned about copyright laws. Read on...
This week three controversial copyright-related proposals were approved by the European Parliament: Article 11, which requires “commercial platforms” to have a license to link to a news article; Article 12a, which prohibits posting your own photos or videos of sports matches; and Article 13, which requires large platforms to use copyright filters to examine everything uploaded for possible infringement. The details have not been fully worked out yet so the fight goes onGoogle+ has made it easier to share a file from your Google Drive account. All you need to do is click the Drive icon when creating a post to access all your Drive folders and files. This feature is only available for Google+ Profiles, not Google+ Pages. If you have an Enterprise G…

Weekly Update - September 8, 2018: Chrome B-Day, Google+ Aspire, Blog Compass

This week we celebrate Chrome’s 10th birthday (and Google’s 20th), and there are updates for Bloggers, Plussers, YouTubers and more.
The official Google+ Collections community is now the Google+ Aspire Community. It’s new focus is to provide resources to learn how to better use Google+ features (profiles, images, hashtags and more), and creating and curating great content. It’s also a place to get feedback on your posts from other Plussers. Kicking it off is discussion on how to create recipe posts. Be sure to join the community to participate (, and if you have content you think should be highlighted, you can submit it ( Compass by Google is a new Android app designed to help you manage your Blogger or Wordpress blog. You can get stats, moderate comments, and the app will suggest trending topic ideas for your next post. This beta version of the app is only available in India. The new Google Search …

Weekly Update - September 1, 2018: YouTube Giving, Google India, Blogger

This week was full of positive updates, including tools for YouTube creators to raise money for charities, YouTube app updates to improve your digital wellbeing, making content and Google services more accessible in India, Google Assistant is bilingual and Google One is rolling out to more countries.
Google announced the YouTube Giving initiative, which provides Creators with tools to support charitable giving to US non-profits. In addition to adding Donation Cards, YouTube Partners can now use Super Chat for Good for donations during their live streams and Premieres. And now select creators and non-profits can run Fundraisers with a Donate button on their channel, or team up with other channels for Community Fundraisers. Currently only Donation Cards and Super Chat for Good are broadly available to Creators.YouTube also posted desktop web release notes, with an overview of recent updates and bug fixes. Check it out on the YouTube Help Forum and give YouTube some positive feedback abo…

Weekly Update - August 25, 2018: Webmaster Search Console, Google+ Communities, YouTube Partners

This week there are some nice updates, helpful tips, and good news for the asking for creators of all kinds.
Managing members for private domain-limited Google+ Communities is getting easier. If you have a private Community for your G Suite domain, you can now manage membership through Google Groups. Add someone to the Group and they will also be added to the Community. If someone is removed from the Google Group, they will also be removed from the Community. If you have a G Suite account, and want to use this feature, talk to your domain’s administrator to see if they will enable it for you.The new Google Search Console for webmasters is getting some new features, including a Links report, improved mobile usability report, and a new settings that makes it easier to manage your properties’ users and permissions. It’s also getting easier for owners of a property in Google Analytics to access data for that site in Search Console, with automatic verification.All channels in the YouTube…

Weekly Update - August 18, 2018: Photos, Voice, One

Now in the heat of the dog days of summer, there aren’t many significant updates. Now is probably a good time to learn some new tricks, like how to use Google Data Studio or complete more YouTube Creator Studio courses. Or maybe take a trip to the beach?
Here’s what’s new this week:
Google Photos photo books are now available in Germany. And you can now add captions to your photo books (assuming you are in a country where they are available).A redesigned Google Voice app is available for iOS devices, with Google Calendar and Contacts-linked “Do Not Disturb” for G Suite users. This appears to be the related to the enterprise version of Google Voice for G Suite announced at Google Cloud Next.The new Gmail “confidential mode” is now available on mobile devices. This lets you set an expiration date and passcode for the messages you send. In the YouTube Android app you will be able to mention someone when you reply to their comment. This should “improve readability” and the person you me…

Weekly Update - August 11, 2018: Android Pie, Digital Wellbeing, Policy Enforcement

Lemon, cherry, apple, pumpkin, pecan - so many delicious flavors of pie!
This week Google officially introduced Android 9 Pie. There are improvements in navigation and notifications, and AI-powered features including Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, Smart Text Selection and App Actions. So far I’ve found it delicious.One of the themes at Google I/O this year was digital wellbeing - features integrated across Google products to help balance their time online with their time offline. Now if you have a Pixel phone with Android 9, you can preview the beta version of these features. It includes a dashboard to give you an overview of the time you spend on your device, app times to limit your use, and a “wind down” option that gets you ready for bedtime by putting your phone in do not disturb mode and fading the screen to grayscale. (Facebook and Instagram also offer tools to help you manage your time on those platforms).Controversial radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones…

Weekly Update - August 4, 2018: Google+, GMB, Brand Accounts

This week there are updates and tips for Plussers, Business owners and managers, VR video watchers, along with tips for YouTubers, AdSense Publishers and more.
You can now embed a Google+ Stream from a Profile, Community, Community Category, Collection or search result on a Google Sites web page. I’m hoping this option will be available to other types of websites as well.If you own or manage a Brand Account for a YouTube channel or Google+ Page, you can now see the email addresses of other owners and managers.Google My Business launched Post Insights, which lets you see views, clicks and the percentage change for individual posts and all posts over the past week or month.Google announced several updates for the DayDream VR viewer, including the ability to watch YouTube videos with other people.Google Maps no longer shows the Earth as flat in 3D Globe mode.Google is reportedly working on a censored version of its search engine for China, and employees are in an uproar. And there are to…

Weekly Update - July 28, 2018: Chrome & HTTPS, Google Cloud Next and more

This week Google announced a number of new AI-powered updates for G Suite, which will hopefully eventually trickle down to us consumer users. Plus Chrome started marking “Not Secure” sites, YouTube is testing a new “Explore” feature and tech companies released their second quarter earnings reports (good for Alphabet, not good for Facebook & Twitter).
This week was Google Cloud Next ‘18 (, the annual Google conference focused on Google Cloud and G Suite offerings for enterprise customers. Announcements (coming soon!) include AI-powered features like smart reply in Hangouts Chat, smart compose in Gmail, grammar suggestions in Google Docs, and voice commands in Hangouts Meet hardware. Google is also bringing an enterprise version of Google Voice to G Suite, with its own AI features to “facilitate voicemail transcription and spam filtering”. See the links below for details about all the announcements for G Suite, Google Cloud Platform and more.Chrom…

Weekly Update - July 21, 2018: YouTube Creators, Learning, Emoji

This week YouTube focused on Creators, the blobs are back and both Google and Facebook had a bad week.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki posted a mid-year update (and video!) on how YouTube is progressing on the five priorities for creators announced at the beginning of the year. Those priorities are better transparency and communication, better support creator success (i.e. make money), more options for viewer engagement, tightening and enforcing policies, and investing more in learning and education. If you’ve been following my YouTube updates, there wasn’t much new, except the announcement of a brand new initiative called “YouTube Learning” that will provide grants and promotion in support of educational content. No details as yet, but that sounds promising. Sometimes YouTube makes nice changes with no fanfare For example, now #hashtags from the video description are now visible above the video title. Before you go hashtag crazy, keep in mind that YouTube does have a number of policies ab…

Weekly Update - July 14, 2018: YouTube Copyright, News Initiatives, Google Ads

Man, it's a hot one. Like seven inches from the midday sun. Hope you’re staying cool! This week there’s copyright tools for creators, YouTube and Facebook initiatives to fight the spread of misinformation, announcements from Google Marketing Live 2018 and more.
YouTube is trying to help creators protect their content. The new Copyright Match tool allows creators to find their videos that have been uploaded to other channels, and then contact the uploader or ask YouTube to take down the video. This isn’t quite the same as Content ID - it only finds full matches, not clips or audio alone, and there is no option to monetize the detected video. It’s currently rolling out to channels with at least 100,000 subscribers, and YouTube hopes to eventually provide this tool to all channels in the YouTube Partner Program.YouTube also now has a special troubleshooter for help with copyright issues. It’s definitely makes it easier to find the information you need rather than navigating through…

Weekly Update - July 7, 2018: YouTube Removals, EU Copyright, Account Security

The themes this week were privacy and policy. With the US Independence Day holiday in the middle of the week, it’s not too surprising that there weren’t many updates from Google and other US companies. But what we do have are some news and discussions of content removal stats, potential privacy issues, and an update on the EU copyright policy reform proposal.  Google’s Transparency Report for the first quarter of 2018, with stats for videos removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Most videos were removed by automated systems. And it turns out the vast majority of human-flagged content was actually not removed, and individual Trusted Flaggers were responsible for most of the successful removals.YouTube also made it easier to moderate comments on your videos and channel. Instead of having to choose between holding all comments for review, or allowing all comments, you can now have YouTube hold potentially inappropriate comments for review. YouTube says that the system shou…

Weekly Update - June 30, 2018: Google Ads, Duplex Assistant, YouTube Monetization

The year is half overl, can you believe it? This week there are name changes, Easter eggs, happy (and unhappy) YouTubers and more this week.
Google rebranded its services for advertisers and publishers. AdWords is now simply Google Ads, Doubleclick for Advertisers is combined with Google Analytics 360 Suite as the Google Marketing Platform, and Doubleclick for Publishers and Doubleclick Ad Exchange are now Google Ad Manager. AdSense, at least, is still just AdSense.It’s not just a name change. They also introduced Google Ads “Smart campaigns” to help small businesses to set up ad campaigns in minutes. The new-ish Google contact hovercards are now in Hangouts on desktop at (thanks to Robert Wallis for spotting that!). These cards also appear in Gmail, Calendar, and Google+ for G Suite when you move your mouse over someone’s profile photo or name - pretty much everywhere except Google+ for consumers.The desktop version of Android Messages launched last week. It too…

Weekly Update - June 23, 2018: Android Messages, YouTube Monetization, Video Updates

This week is (mostly) about new video features: YouTube announced new monetization and sharing options, Instagram launched IGTV for longform vertical video, and Facebook added new Live features for quizzes, game shows and polls. And there are more nice updates for podcasters, music lovers, webmasters and more.  Big news for messaging this week - Android Messages is now available on the web. You can send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your desktop computer at by linking your phone. There are also a few other new features: Smart Reply, easily search for GIFs, link previews, and copy one time passwords with a single tap.VidCon - the big online video convention - is happening right now. There are separate tracks for creators, industry folks, and fans, panel discussions and presentations. And YouTube’s keynote address is usually a platform for new feature announcements. This year the focus was monetization and community. New YouTube features include “Channel Membe…