Optimizing the New YouTube Channel Design

Dec 16, 2011   //   by Kristi Hines   //   Social Media  //  22 Comments

Back in October, I wrote an article on optimizing your social media profiles for SEO which included a detailed look at YouTube channels. And of course, here we are in December and YouTube has completely revamped their channel design. If you haven’t been to your channel recently, I’d suggest you go take a look at it now as it has all changed.



Here are some highlights as to what you need to go in and modify.

Featured Videos

The first thing I noticed right away was my set featured video was nowhere to be found, and the channel was displaying my latest videos in the order they were uploaded. So if you’re like me and you want that featured video back, be sure to go in and set it. Click on the Edit button above the top video on your channel.

Use the dropdown to select whether your featured video is in Uploaded videos, Favorite videos, or a custom playlist. Then uncheck the box for Most Recent Video in Featured Set to see all of your videos in the category you chose. Click on the video you want as featured and then click Apply.


Beneath your featured video is a playlist, usually set to your most recent uploads or another playlist. Click on the Edit button above this playlist to choose what you want displayed.

Select the playlist (Uploaded videos, Favorite videos, or a custom playlist) you want displayed below your featured video and then click Apply.

About You and Your Links

To edit your channel’s information, click on the Edit button in the right sidebar above the About You text.

The downside to the new changes is that there is no longer any customizable field that counts as the meta description for your channel and your links are no longer dofollow. The upside is you can include more links on your channel to your website, social profiles, etc. While they may not have SEO value, they are in a great position to be clicked upon by visitors to your channel.

Beneath your links are additional fields about you as the user, your hometown, occupation, companies, schools, and interests. The most important area to fill out is the top About box and your links as the rest of the information will be hidden unless someone clicks on the more link.

Featured Playlists and Channels

Underneath your information and links are two areas where you can highlight your featured playlists and featured channels (or links to other YouTube channels). Click on the Edit button above each section to set these in the order you prefer.

Have you updated your YouTube channel? Do you love it or hate it? Please share your thoughts on the new design in the comments!

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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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  • Marbella says:

    Hi Kristi,
    Thanks for the upgrade help, I had very good response and benefit from your last optimazing in September. Great thanks.

  • Tony Mack says:

    Absolutely, Youtube made a very great upgrade on the channels. But some members got a little confused about the upgrade but now if they could read this article about the changes made, It is much easier for them to understand now. Thanks for all the tips. Keep it up. Looking forward to here from you.

  • Gerald Weber


    You Rock!

    You always come up with the most useful stuff. I don’t have the time to spend going over all this myself, so you just saved me a bunch of time!

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  • David

    Thank you. I just followed your tutorial and made some changed. I did not realize I could link to more than one of my sites.

  • Ray says:

    I have never been a big Youtuber, but I kind of like the new layout and look. I think it looks a bit sharper now. Kind of a bummer that they set links to nofollow though. Seems like some Google related sites are dofollow and others are nofollow.

  • Ann Smarty

    Great head-ups for someone like me who tend to forget about making the most of social media profiles (especially if it comes to other social networks, not Twitter and FB). thanks!

  • Gary Anderson II

    I’ve been trying for weeks to find “that site I saw one day…” with how to optimize your social accts! Bam! Here is a page that is an update to the page I’m looking for. YAY!

    What’s funny is that I’ve commented here before. Needless to say, I’m starting to really like this blog a lot! Thanks for this GREAT update to YouTube Profile SEO! 😉

    Gary Anderson II

  • Tobi

    Hi Kristi.
    Great tutorial.
    At the moment Youtube allows you to keep your old sites design. I guess this will ultimately change soon.
    – do you happen to know if/when that will happen?
    – Given the option to choose between the two, which one would you prefer?

  • nicko

    Nice guide. Too bad the links are now nofollow. Youtube is still a good traffic machine.

  • Patricia says:

    I actually hate it for the moment. I have figured out how to update my channel. However, i am upset that I no longer cannot remove a video that I never asked for in the first place, or after I have viewed it. no one can make a person view nor like a video, and that is what I liked about You tube in the first place. now Google has messed it up, and I wish they would put that feature back.

  • eliZZZa says:

    I hate, that there are no visible channel comments anymore and other “social” features missing, like view your subscribers…

  • Tim Ryan says:

    Unlike any other sites, Youtube, doesn’t really change its user settings and web interface often. But when they do, I get really confused with how I would start personalizing it. Thanks for providing a thorough walk through on how I can customize it. The screenshots made it easier for me to understand. You’re awesome!

  • Jac Evans says:

    I am the good designer of youtube channel. I have two year experience for this work.

  • Roy says:

    This new design is terrible, it’s missing so many of the old stuff like channel comments, friends list, and statistics. And guess what we don’t get a choice as to whether we want to keep the old layout because it’s changing all the channels regardless of user opinion on March 7th!! Thank you Youtube designers for completely limiting my ability to customize my channel!! I’ve always wanted a crappy grey looking slate for my channel it’s so appealing!

  • Spiral says:

    The new Youtube design is absolutely awful! Dramatically reduced customization, removal of channel comments, extremely limited ability to organize videos within playlists (!!!!!!), functionality is all-around terrible. This new channel design is a FAIL in every way for me so far…
    But I did appreciate your clear, helpful instructions on how to make the best of this mess they forced on us. Thanks 😉

  • Ted Palmer says:

    Hi Kristi!

    I hope this email finds you well.

    I am having YouTube issues …

    First, the new channel design has an ‘edit’ button that does not work. So, I cannot change my featured video. Any thoughts?

    Second, YouTube or Google AdSense recently gave me a contract and started running ads on my channel. Then, after about two weeks, they stopped the ads and sent me an email stating that I was “at risk for potential invalid click activity”. They yanked the ads and informed me that the need to protect there advertiser resulted in them also taking back any ad revenue earned to date.

    I am just trying to feed my family and start a content based, ad driven web site. I have no intention of rigging the system, just wanna make an honest living. They will not respond to my many inquiries. How can I make money off the internet now?

    Thanks & Best Regards,


  • Local SEO says:

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  • Jamy Hoster

    Well thank you for this as I have got many good response from people as I take your all blogs as an advice.Now this one is also great for me.