New strikes for links in video descriptions

New strikes for links in video descriptions

YouTube is issuing Community Guidelines strikes to channels with links to a website called Toneden. According to YouTube, this violates their spam policy because users are incentivized to subscribe to a channel in order to get access to a download link.

Although this issue was mainly observed on music promo channels that posted links in the description of their videos to that website, note that the issue here are the links to any websites that violate YouTube's policies. Also to note is that using URL shorteners to "hide" the actual website URLs does not solve the issue, as YouTube's algorithm can trace the link as can a human review.

Some examples of links that may lead to penalties by YouTube:
  1. Links that send users to a page with ads to generate revenue, instead of directly linking to the page.

  2. Links that force viewers to subscribe/like/share to join a giveaway and gain points.

  3. Links trees, if they send viewers to sites similar to their platform (Soundcloud, Twitch, Dailymotion, etc)
    Examples:, (,

If you are currently using links to websites that may violate YouTube's policies, but you have a lot of content that needs editing to comply with these policies, you can try removing the links from all your videos using the bulk edit option directly on YouTube, as seen here, or use apps like Tubebuddy (if you have a premium subscription) to bulk find/replace/remove the links.

Here are some links that have related information that we recommend you read:
  1. YouTube Community Guidelines
  2. Spam, deceptive practices & scams policies
  3. Links in your content policy
  4. YouTube contest policies

Also make sure to check our CEO's video talking about this below.

    • Related Articles

    • YouTube updates Community Guidelines Strike System

      In a blog post on February 19, 2019, YouTube announced changes to their Community Guidelines strike system, effective from February 25, 2019. With the goal of educating creators, channels that violate YouTube's Community Guidelines for the first ...
    • Best practices for requesting video takedowns

      There may come a time when you may feel the need to request a takedown of a video that someone else uploaded. We have some best practices you should consider for these situations as YouTube takes these requests very seriously, and if not done ...
    • YouTube updates harassment policy

      YouTube announced changes to their harassment policy as they understand that such issues prevent people from sharing their thoughts and opinions and ultimately, prevent the community from growing. What has changed YouTube will not allow content that ...
    • YouTube @mentions for titles and descriptions

      YouTube is rolling out @mentions for video titles and description for channels with over 1,000 subscribers. This feature gives creators a way to shoutout someone, give credit to a channel or use it for collaboration, it's up to the creator. To use ...
    • YouTube is taking action on adult-themed videos aimed at kids and families

      YouTube made a new update to the Child Safety policies, in a publication made August 23, 2019, Youtube gives creators that produce "content that contains mature or violent themes that explicitly targets younger minors and families in the title, ...