Find and Fix Missing YouTube Videos – WordPress SEO Clean Up

Perhaps even more disappointing than following a broken link on a site is coming across a missing video.

This tends to happen a lot with YouTube videos. The post author has carefully crafted a set up for you to watch something juicy or interesting or beneficial, and when you go to play it, you get some type of message saying you can’t.

There are all sorts of reasons for this. Sometimes the video maker has removed it. Sometimes YouTube itself has removed it. Sometimes it’s been set to private. Sometimes it’s been restricted because of your location.


What Do Missing Videos Mean for SEO?

Whatever the reason, the upshot is the same. The video isn’t there, and that makes for a bad user experience.

And as we all know, a bad user experience makes for bad SEO.

Missing videos make for bad user experience, which makes for bad SEO.
Missing videos make for bad user experience, which makes for bad SEO.

If someone were to click on your site from Google, encounter a missing video, and then hop back onto Google in order to find a place that’s actually going to deliver what they’re looking for, GOOGLE TAKES NOTE.

Google doesn’t want to send people to an abandoned building when they’re looking for a functioning restaurant. If they do that too many times, people lose trust.

And so before Google will let people lose trust in them, they’re going to lose trust in you. You can guarantee it.


A Solution to the Missing Video Problem

Luckily, there’s an easy solution to the missing video problem, and as with many things WordPress, it comes in the form a plugin.

The plugin that will do this for you is called YouTube Not Found.

This plugin will report missing videos on your site, and you can also set it up to email you when that happens. There is also an option to replace the video with something else if it becomes unavailable.

To be honest, not all those options above worked for me in my tests. Replacing the video with something else seemed to work, but then it didn’t at times. The email never arrived, at least it hasn’t yet – maybe it will later.

But the most import aspect, in my mind, did work. The log of unavailable videos turned up the video I was testing.

As you can see below, it told me exactly which post the missing video was in, and so it makes it easy to just hop in and edit the post.

Wanting to find the unavailable videos on your site seems like a no-brainer — Google or no Google.