YouTube Annotations: How To Link To Related Videos On YouTube

The number one factor for ranking videos on YouTube is the amount of time people spend watching the videos on your channel. With annotations you can direct them to a related video or a series of related videos at the end of the one that they’ve just

Here’s how to link to a related video using a spotlight annotation:

Watch the video below…

First of all find the video that you want to link to so in this case I’m selecting the video “how to make a subscribe button on YouTube using annotations” so grab the watch url or the playlist url…I prefer the playlist URL so people can watch more of your videos on YouTube which YouTube likes.

So I’m going to select the URL for a playlist
Copy it and paste it into notepad.

Now we’re going to create the actual annotation..

  • Log into your YouTube account
  • Click the profile image
  • Click creator studio
  • Click video manager
  • Select the video that you wish to annotate
  • Click “edit”
  • Click “annotations”
  • Now you’ve got to select the place where you want to put the annotation
  • I like to put it at the end
  • Let’s create a new annotation
  • Click “add annotation”
  • Select “spotlight”
  • You will see a transparent image..just move the image over the top of your image on YouTube. It doesn’t have to be exact because most people know where to click.
  • So here it’s got the start and end times of your annotation
  • In this case the start time was 1:25 and the end end time 1:41 so drag the annotation to as far as you want to go.
  • So I’ve got it fading out so I want to shorten it to 1:41 so it’s going to fade out
  • If I play fades out at the right time
  • Click “link”
  • Select the playlist URL
  • Put the URL in the box and it jumps to video
  • The tutorial actually starts at 0:28 so the viewer doesn’t have to watch the whole introduction.
  • So now I’m going back to my annotations and says “start the linked video at..I’m going to put 28 seconds here
  • In the box it says “open link in a new window” which means it will close the window that the viewer is currently on and open it in new one If you want the viewer to seamlessly watch the next video leave that box unchecked.
  • Now if you made a mistake you can simply highlight the annotation and just click the trash box and it will trash it.
  • If you want to lengthen the timeline here to get more detailed you can just move this slider. See how it expands the timeline.
  • Check the video
  • The spotlight annotation links to a related video.
  • The video skips the introduction and goes straight to the actual tutorial.
  • That’s it!

Now you know how to link to related videos using the spotlight annotation. YouTube will reward your video with better rankings if people stay on your channel to watch more of your videos.


  1. Hello!
    I’d like to report a technical issue with youtube annotations, but I don’t know how to do it…

    there you are:

    1)It would be better for users to be able to set the start time and THE END TIME of a video: this would be particularly important when the video clips are contained on a single file.
    2)When the video clip called by an annotation ended, it would be better to be able to RETURN AUTOMATICALLY AT PRIMARY VIDEO and go on.

    What are you thinking about?


    • Thanks for sharing those points.
      Unfortunately YouTube doesn’t have to those features yet
      however you could use a video player (like on your site to
      implement those features and more.

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