YouTube Changes Time Limit – So What?

Posted on September 6, 2010 in Video Marketing, VSEO

Liz Pratt is the Marketing Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems. She can be contacted at

The reason behind YouTube’s ten minute limit for posted video came from the early days of the website when people began posting full TV episodes and movies to the site. In order to respect copyright laws, the time limit was seen as an effective way to keep people from sharing protected content. Once the limit was imposed, users were forced to cut things into segments, which could be a frustrating process.

As time has passed, YouTube’s Content ID system has evolved to work with over 1,000 global partners, helping to ensure copyrighted content is not being distributed without the owners consent. Content ID is able to catch copyrighted content in an automated way, policing the YouTube databases to find illegal content. YouTube claims that this is much for the reason for upping the time limit to fifteen minutes.

As a video SEO professional, one might ask why the change matters for VSEO, or why it would help a company gain ground in the Universal Search page. The truth is, this new limit shouldn’t affect how VSEO experts (or novices!) do their work, and certainly won’t change where you’re ranked on the Universal Search page. We know that it is wise to keep VSEO content short and concise, preferably under a minute, in order to keep the attention of the increasingly distracted viewer. If you are uploading anything longer than a few minutes, users will probably not watch all the way to the end. Unfortunately, your VSEO content is not the latest episode of Mad Men, so don’t think your viewers are hanging on to your every word. They might click away at any moment, so get your message across as fast as possible.

What is important here is that YouTube has put so much effort into protecting copyrighted content that they feel safe raising the limits to 15 minutes, and that there is such a demand for that extra five minutes of screen time. VSEO professionals already know that VSEO is a key strategy for inbound marketing and Universal Search page results, and every new advance by YouTube confirms it. As more and more users flock to online video, it becomes a bigger and bigger part of our daily lives.

SearchPro Systems is a leading New England based national digital marketing firm offering complete end-to-end Universal Search marketing solutions, specializing in video SEO.