Links in your Content

On January 15, we announced changes to the enforcement of our policy around links in your content. Over the next 2 months, links that violate our Community Guidelines will be removed but the channel will not receive a strike. This “grace period” is to allow time to review the updated policy and make changes to your content. Content that was posted before January 15 may be removed but will not receive a strike. You can learn more about this here.

Content shared on YouTube, including links, needs to follow our Community Guidelines. As a creator, it’s your responsibility to make sure the links you include in your content follow our policies. 

External websites you link to that include pornography, malware, or other content that doesn’t meet our Community Guidelines are not allowed on YouTube. Violations can result in your links being removed, a Community Guidelines strike, and/or termination of your YouTube account.

If a strike is issued, you'll get an email and see an alert in your Channel Settings the next time you sign in to YouTube. You can appeal the strike if you think your links don’t violate the YouTube Community Guidelines.

Best practices for links

Any site you link to in your content and channel(s) needs to follow our Community Guidelines. It also helps to make the site crawlable so we can learn more about it. Find out how to make a page crawlable here

What should I do if my link is hidden?

If you see “Link hidden” next to your content, it’s because we found that your link didn’t follow our Community Guidelines. While your link was removed, you did not receive a strike. An email was sent to you to let you know about the removal and which policy it violated.

If you think we made a mistake, and your link didn’t violate our policies, there are instructions in the email to appeal.

What should I do if I get a strike for links?

If you get a Community Guidelines strike for links, you can do the following: 
  • Remove links if you believe they may violate YouTube Community Guidelines. You can edit the video that has the flagged link in Video Manager.
    Note: Removing the link will not remove the strike.  
  • If you own the website you’re linking to, consider updating the website content so it follows our Community Guidelines.
  • If you believe your link doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines, you can appeal.

How to appeal a strike for links

If you think that your links don’t violate the YouTube Community Guidelines, you can appeal this decision on a computer and it will be reviewed. 

Creator Studio Classic

  1. Sign in to YouTube from your computer.
  2. Select your account icon > Creator Studio.
  3. Select Channel > Status and features.
  4. Go to Community Guidelines Status section.
  5. Select Appeal this decision for the link you want to appeal. 

YouTube Studio beta

If you use YouTube Studio beta or the YouTube Studio app, you’ll need to use Creator Studio Classic to appeal. You can follow the instructions above.

Report content that violates this policy

If you see content that violates this policy, please report it.

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