Support » Plugin: YouTube Embed » Added PageRank Sucking Links to my site linking to their site

  • I had used the plugin “YouTube Embed” for quite a while with no problems. When I looked recently – after doing updates – they had modified the plugin to give themselves my pagerank via outbound links. There were 3 outbound links around every instance of video that I had used their plugin for. What a deviant thing to do. I will NEVER use this plugin again and I suggest you don’t either. Here are the links: Download YouTube Video | YouTube to MP3 | Advanced tools from

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • We’re sorry that you feel this way. The download bar can be a useful addition for your users as they can quickly download their videos. In addition that third link can be monetised if you provide an affiliate ID (there are details about how to do this in the instructions).

    However, don’t forget that these links can be easily turned off if you don’t want them – simply untick the download bar option in YouTube Embed Profiles and Save.


    The only issue their may have been before with the links potentially affecting SEO is that last one, which is a promotional link. We have therefore added “rel=nofollow” to this link now so Google, et al, won’t punish any sites for using it.

    I hope this helps.


    I was angry and reactionary when I wrote that so I do apologize. I had 2 videos displayed (using your plugin) on the homepage of a PR 4 site with no outbound links. You – without asking my permission first – added 6 outbound links that were not there for months… which removed most of that PR 4 from my homepage. 4 of the links may have been nofollow, but 2 links you took the PR with do follow links. All links subtract PR from the page even though nofollow links don’t pass it to the untrusted target. From Wikipedia: “any link with a nofollow attribute decreases the PageRank that the page can pass on”. When you replied that Google won’t punish sites for using nofollow links… that is totally wrong. You reduced the PR of the page that normally would have flowed back into other internal pages. Some people might not care but I think you should inform people who were previously using the plugin without links that one of your updates added those outbound links. Regards –

    Having an outbound link on a page does NOT take any PR from your site. However, Google doesn’t like sponsored links not being “nofollow” and, if you’re caught doing this a lot, they may punish you by reducing your PR. In the case of your site I don’t think 2 such links would have caused the drop in PR and is probably due to other factors.

    I know there was no explicit permission for our plugin to add these links, but what plugin does? When you install a new WordPress plugin how do you know if it’s going to add links to your site? It was clear in both the changelog and screenshots that these links had been added.


    Originally when Google implemented nofollow they mistakenly did not subtract PR from the page and that lead to the “PR sculpting” phenomenon. They fixed that and all outbound links reduce PR from the page just no follow do not pass it to the untrusted target. I copied the links you added to my site maliciously and posted them in my first review post. You can see they were all do follow links. One of them looks like it’s to an affiliate site “” and how dare you risk getting my site banned by Google for paid links? That looks like it could be a paid link. For anyone following this I reported this plugin as a malicious plugin to asking that it be removed form the WordPress Repository. You may do the same if you were shocked to find this plugin added outbound links to your pages with no advanced warning.

    And to reiterate, when I installed this plugin it worked great and there were no outbound links. They secretly added 3 outbound links to every instance of using their plugin at a later time with no warning whatsoever to the unsuspecting users. These links were malicious in that they drained PR from PR from the page the plugin was used on and one of teh links looks like it might be a paid link so it risked getting the unsuspecting user banned from the Google main index. Applian stated “I know there was no explicit permission for our plugin to add these links, but what plugin does?” well no decent plugin does that. It’s poor judgement and malicious code.

    The plugin does not break any WordPress rules as the link can be switched off. Although that third link did not initially have a NOFOLLOW link on it, it does now.

    Google are not going to reduce your PR for a few links that were present for a short time. Reviewing such sites is a manual process that Google perform and they target sites which are adding obviously paid-for content – usually paid links or articles. Having a few affiliate-based links on a site for a short amount of time is unlikely to ever cause problems.


    After feedback we have updated the plugin and changed the way the links are output – we hope these are more suitable.

    We have also taken the time to add some new, requested features including the ability to specify the resolution of the video.

    If you have any further feedback, don’t hesitate to comment.


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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