20 October 2013

How to Change YouTube Adsense Account association

I would like to associate a different AdSense account with my YouTube account

Google/YouTube has hidden the adsense change feature however, I will explain a work around for this feature that works at the time of writing this (20 October 2013).

It is possible to change the AdSense account associated with your YouTube account if you already have an active, approved AdSense account to change to. To change the AdSense account associated with your YouTube account, please follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your YouTube account and go to your Account Settings page
  2. Click the "Monetisation" link on the left hand side of the page
  3. Select "Review or change Adsense association" If you can not see this link use the one provided here)
  4. Change your AdSense account association by clicking on "Change"
  5. Select the option at the bottom of the page to choose the Google Account you wish to use.
  6. Enter the password for your Google Account.
  7. Accept the association and you will then be redirected back to YouTube
Google does not officially or publicly support this method any longer but it works. Currently Google does support a similar set of steps for this service for YouTube Partners and users who are eligible to monetize all their channel content and have their accounts in good standing order.

If you have never created an AdSense account before:
  1. Access the Monetization page in your Channel Settings.
  2. From the AdSense Association page, you will be directed to AdSense.
  3. Select the option at the bottom of the page to choose the Google Account you wish to use.
  4. Enter the password for your Google Account.
  5. Confirm the association and provide your billing information before submitting.
  6. You will then be redirected back to YouTube. (Note: AdSense may email you an update.)
Here are a few questions that people have posted to me regarding Change of YouTube Adsense Association recently.

How do I change my AdSense account to a brand new account?

How do I change adsense accounts on my youtube channel?

Move a Youtube channel from one AdSense account to another?

13 April 2013

Improvements to Blogger Template HTML editor

Previously I wrote a post about how to integrate Facebook comments with blogger and I received a lot of question about how to modify the positioning of the comment box. Particularly as some people have used highly customized blogs or used the new dynamic blog templates.

Anyway, Blogger summer interns have posted about two new features that should make finding and re-positioning code slightly easier. One is a formatting feature that makes the code indentation nicer and uniform across the whole template and the second feature is a menu which takes you to the code of a widget with a single click.

You can read the full post on the two links below(they are identical posts)

Autopost YouTube Videos (Uploads) to Blogger using Google FeedBurner

There are many easy ways to post your YouTube videos to Blogger using third party tools/websites such as ifttt.com, however the method I explain here relies solely on Google products (YouTube, FeedBurner and Blogger).

1. Enable posting to Blogger via Email

1.1) Login to Blogger.com

1.2) Browse to the section shown in the screen shot below:
1.3) Enter a secret word for your auto blogging via email.

1.4) Click "Save settings" to make the changes permanent.

From now on you will be able to create blog posts via sending emails to this secret email address.

2. Find the URL of the RSS feed for your YouTube uploads

This is an example my YouTube account so make sure you replace my username(jenson) with that of your own.

This is the URL of my YouTube uploads which retrieves them as an RSS XML file. Replace my name(jenson) with the name of your YouTube channel.

here is a simpler alternative URL for the same purpose:

3.  Add your YouTube RSS URL to Feedburner

3.1) Go to feedburner.google.com

3.2) Enter the URL from step 1 into the only text box on the webpage, as shown in the screen shot below:

3.3) Click Next and you will see the screen below:

3.4) On the above screen you can safely ignore the given options(As these can be changed later if you wish to do so). So click next once more and you will be presented with the below screen:

3.5) Click Next once more and you will see the screen below:

3.6) In the above screen you can ignore all options and click next. (I have checked all the available options to be able to see some more stats about the feed but this is irrelevant to what we are doing here). So click Next one last time!

4. Enable Email Subscription for your newly created RSS feed on Feedburner

4.1) Click on the "Publicize" tab and you will see the screen below:

4.2) Click on "Email Subscription" link on the left hand side and you will see the screen below:
4.3) On the above click the activate button to enable this feature. You will see a success message as shown below:

4.4) Click the RSS icon in the top left corner to view your newly created Feed(e.g. http://feeds.feedburner.com/JensonTaylor) on feedburner. You will be presented with the page displayed below(containing a list of your YouTube uploads. I have cut the screenshot short):

4.5) Click on the link that reads "Get Videos delivered by email". A popup will appear, so make sure it is not blocked by a pop-up blocker.

5. Subscribe to your FeedBurner RSS Feed using your secret Blogger email

5.1) Enter your secret blogger email address in the popup window and click "Complete Subscription Request" button:

4.6) You will then see a confirmation message which you can dismiss it by clicking on the "close window" link:

6. Confirm the subscription

Once you have subscribed to the feed on feedburner, an automatic blog post will be made to your blog that looks like the following:

6.1) Click on the confirmation link in the above Blogger post (which was automatically created on your blog)

6.2) Go to your blogger interface and delete this blog post because it will no longer server a purpose and it makes your blog look bad. 

7. Enjoy

From now on any YouTube video that you upload to your channel will be posted to your blog.

Potential Problems:
  • Updates can take up 48 hours to happen but not longer(This is the worst case scenario) because:
    • Feedburner emails are only sent once every 24 hours(The time of day that emails are sent can be chosen by you)
    • YouTube API extracts your uploads through its search mechanism which lags behind the uploads of users, hence the extra delay in this part as well
  • The unsubscribe link is displayed at the bottom of the blog post so anyone of your blog readers can stop this from happening on the next occasion. 
  • The emails that are sent to Blogger create ugly blog posts which look a bit spammy, although you can modify the email content to some extent through Feedburner(see below).


1. In step 1 of this guide you can choose the "Save emails as draft post" option in the settings which means your posts will not be automatically posted to your blog but saved as a draft blog instead which means you can review it and modify it before you actually post it. One important editing task here would be to remove the details at the bottom of the email/post which allows public readers of your blog to unsubscribe your blog from receiving these auto posts.

2. I recommed changing the Feedburner email title to something more suitable as shown on the screenshot below:
I have marked where you need to click and what you can enter to change the email title and logo. I believe it's easy to follow and also I am feeling lazy so I haven't explained it in more details but if you need clarification please let me know. 

As always any questions, suggestions or comments are most welcome.

29 March 2012

Useful Google Analytics Dashboard for Bloggers

Google Analytics Dashboard for Blogspot, Wordpress or any content website
I previously wrote a blog post about using Google Analytics with Blogger. So if you have become familiar with Google Analytics and you feel comfortable using it, you might want to add some better reporting tools that will help you view the stats of you blog in a more friendly way. So here is a nice dashboard that selects a few items to report on. Following this link will give you the option to add this new dashboard to your Google Analytics profile: Add Cool Blogger Dashboard

Assuming you are already logged into Google Analytics you will see a popup like the one shown below:
1. Select you blog profile (e.g. bloggerpost3.blogspot.com) then
2. Select "Create Dashboard"

You will be able to see a pretty neat dashboard that is already setup and ready to use as shown below (The screen shot below is from another blog) as I have only recently setup Google Analytics for my personal blog there wasn't enough data to make the dashboard look good:

One of the nice features of this dashboard view is that you can see the stats against the page titles as opposed to seeing the stats against an obscure URL address.

28 March 2012

Blogger Stats vs. Google Analytics - Report Very Different Values

This is follow up post on Using Google Analytics with Blogger Tutorial. I encourage everyone to use Google Analytics instead of Blogger Stats however when people make the switch the first question everyone asks is why is there such a big difference/drop in Google Analytics stats versus Blogger Stats. In particular the Blogger stats shows much larger number for page views than Google Analytics.

Before I go into details, I like to point out that Google Analytics is showing the "more" correct statistics of user activity on your blog.

The major difference in statistics between Google Analytics and Blogger Stats comes from the method they use to track page views and visitors. Google Analytics uses a more accurate method by setting a cookie on the user's browser which means the user is most likely to be a real user as opposed to an automate computer program.
There are many automated computer programs that visit your blogs on regular basis(known as bots) that fetch your content in order to create an index for search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google Analytics will not recognize these as valid visits whereas Blogger Stats counts each one of these as a valid visit. Aside from search engines viewing your blog there are many other automated programs that are designed for spamming and email harvesting that visit your blog. These visits are added up to your Blogger Stats, therefore inflating your ego visitor numbers.

If you have previously used solutions other than Blogger Stats, other factors can contribute to a difference in numbers such as their use of third party images or third party cookies. Some statistic-collection websites place a small image on your blog such as a counter or their logo or even a transparent image. Every time that image is loaded a "hit" or "page view" is recorded on their servers. Whereas Google Analytics only counts a "visit" to the same page if it's not within the same 30 minutes.

It's also worth knowing that some security programs such as firewalls and anti-viruses change the settings of your browser to stop these third party images from loading which means even more incorrect statistics are recorded.

Also, it is worth pointing out that Blogger Stats will record your visits to your own blog. So disabling this feature is a great help toward getting more consistent statistics across Blogger Stats and Google Analytics, even though Google Analytics also records your visits to your own blog. You can find the procedure on how to disable tracking your own visits to your blog below however since the country code domain name changes have gone live, disabling tracking will not be as accurate as it was before the top level domain name changes.

You can find more information on this topic via the Google Help pages.

Stop Tracking your own views
For bloggers that have very popular blogs, it will not make a noticeable difference whether you track your own visits to your blog or not. However if your blog doesn't get that many views then your own visits could account for a large portion of page views on your blog. Hence it is important to stop tracking your own views in Blogger Stats. So:

1. Go to your Blog dashboard
2. Click on "Stats" (Overview)
3. Click on "Don't track your own pageviews" as shown in the screenshot below

4. You will be presented with a popup, select the "Don't track my pageviews" option.

5. Click "Save"

and you're done!

If you'd like to be updated on new blog posts please subscribe to my RSS feed and/or via email.

27 March 2012

Blogger Service Unavailable Error 503 after top level domain name changes (country code extensions)

I previously wrote about how Google Blogger has changed top level domain names (country codes) for censorship purposes. After these recent changes to Bloggers' country code domains, I have experienced a lot of 503 Server Errors. The changes to the country domain name extension coincided with other changes rolled out by Blogger such as Search Preferences for SEO optimization. So it is not clear where the 503 errors stem from but it appears that other users/bloggers are experiencing the same problem.

If you have seen this error please leave a comment so that I know, I am not the only one!
Blogger Error 503 Service Unavailable
HTTP 503 Service Unavailable Error means the server is currently unavailable (because it is overloaded or down for maintenance). Generally, this is a temporary state.

Here is the HTML code returned by the Blogger servers:
<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Service Unavailable</TITLE></HEAD><BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" TEXT="#000000"><H1>Service Unavailable</H1><H2>Error 503</H2></BODY></HTML> 

It's interesting to see the error pages served by Blogger servers do not comply to HTML 4 standards.

24 March 2012

Guide to YouTube Captions (Subtitles) and Transcripts Tutorial

If you have viewed videos on YouTube you have probably noticed a small icon marked as "cc" in the bottom bar of the video player(See the image below)

If video owners upload captions(subtitles) for their videos, you will be able to select from a range subtitles based on language or whatever variation of subtitles(captions) the video owner provided. However for most videos on YouTube, nobody uploads the subtitles so YouTube has a voice recognition software that attempts to provide subtitles for English spoken videos. I must point out that although the automatic speech to text feature is technologically impressive, it is not adequate from a user's perspective.

Creating subtitle files is a fairly time consuming process, however creating a transcript is much less work. Because you don't need to set start/stop times for each piece of text which you would need to do for subtitles. So if you have a transcript of your video you can upload it for your video and not only will YouTube provide an interactive transcript of your video(accessible via an icon below your video) but the automatic speech recognition software by YouTube will use this same transcript for the subtitle captions. So the subtitle captions will be 100% accurate. YouTube does a very good job at matching the transcript to the audio so the timing of subtitles appearing on your video will be in sync with the audio itself.

Transcript Toggle: shows the transcript as video is playing.
There might be very rare occasions where the timing of the audio and a subtitle caption is not perfect, however this can easily be fixed. All you need to do is follow the steps below (This guide assumes you have uploaded your transcript file otherwise there will be an auto-generated one which will be fine as well):

1. Go to your video.
2. Click the "Edit captions/subtitles" link above your video (this will take you to another page)

3. Click on your caption link which will be something like "English - your transcript name" (this will take you to another page)

4. In the bottom right corner of this page you will see a button which says "Download" click this button to download the "caption/subtitle" file. (Note: you never uploaded a subtitle/caption file, YouTube create this file from your transcript file) save this file on your computer.

5. Open the download file using Notepad or your favorite text editor.

6. You will see that each line of text has two sets of times above it, these times indicate at what point in your video the subtitle will appear and at what point it will disappear. Change the times to match your video.

Here is an example:
0:00:01.000,0:00:05.200Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
7. Bring back your browser now and click on the link "Return to All Tracks

8. Click the "Add new captions or transcripts" button

9. Choose the subtitle file.

10. Make sure the option selected is "Caption file(includes time codes)" this is the default option so you shouldn't need to change anything here.

11. Select a name for the captions. I usually call it "subtitles (captions)" because when your video starts it will show the language name of your subtitles with this text appended to it for about 2 seconds.

12. Click "Upload file"

and you're done.

Assuming you have a transcript for your video, this is by far the easiest method for providing subtitles/captions for your videos. If you don't have a transcript for your video you can download the auto generated captions then edit them and upload the new file to fix any errors that YouTube had produced.

Here is an example video that I created:

Applications for Subtitling / Captioning your YouTube Videos
Alternatives to the above method exist in the form of software that look like video editing applications. Using this software you will need to play the video then pause it, type in a sentence for the caption and set when it should disappear. I have tried a few of such applications and I can tell you they are all really time consuming. But if you would like to try one these application, here are a few:

Online Captioning Websites:
Desktop Applications

Tools and approaches aside, here are some usability guidelines for creating subtitles: http://www.dcmp.org/ciy/

You might also find these YouTube help files useful:

Uploading YouTube Transcript File Tutorial

Just in case anyone has problems with this, I made this small addition to the how-to guide for uploading a transcript file. Here are the steps:
  1. Go to your video
  2. Click the "Edit captions/subtitles" link above your video (this will take you to another page)
  3. Click the "Add new captions or transcripts" button
  4. Choose your transcript file
  5. Select the option "Transcript file"
  6. Select a name for the Transcript
  7. Click "Upload file"

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