YouTube Changed the Related Videos Parameter

Up until recently, there was an option inside of YouTube to embed a video on your website without showing related videos at the end, which were often from competitors. The process was somewhat hidden, but at least it was an available option.

When you went to get the embed code, there was a link to “Show advanced options” and then you could select the checkboxes that you wanted.

After selecting those boxes, the embed code would have the parameters added that you had selected, and when viewers got to the end of your video, they simply saw the play button again.

Now however, that option is gone entirely, and I finally know why…

YouTube Removed the Option to Hide Related Videos

This summer, Google announced that a change would take place on September 25th, that they were going to change the behavior of the rel (related videos) parameter, and they also said that they would “ignore” the showinfo parameter entirely.

In their explanation of the change on this page, Google says this:

Titles, channel information, and related videos are an important part of YouTube’s core user experience, and these changes help to make the YouTube viewing experience consistent across different platforms.

What they DON’T say on that page is that they’re removing the checkbox entirely. If you go to embed a video today, you’ll see that it looks like this now, with no option to remove related videos:

You Can Still Stop Competitor Videos From Appearing

The fact that there’s no more checkbox available doesn’t mean that you can’t still prevent competitor videos from showing on your website.

Google must have decided there would be too much public outcry if they started just ignoring that parameter.  Instead, they explain that the “behavior change” means those that currently use the “Do not show related videos” parameter will instead show related videos from that same channel.

So, while you can’t stop related videos from showing altogether, at least you can ensure that they’re your own, by adding some code…

The code to use is ?rel=0

Simply append that code to the end of the Youtube URL in your iframe right before the closing quotation mark. Then, instead of getting videos from your competitors, your users will see videos from the same channel from where the embed code was taken. That means the example above would look like this for use:

So what do you think of this change?


Categories How To
Scott Hendison:

View Comments (7)

  • Well I'm glad you posted this! I couldn't find anything else updated. Thank you!! as for the change, stupid.

  • Thanks for sharing the updated info. I've been searching for it. I don't like that they removed the option to turn of the suggested videos, but I'm super glad you shared the info about updating it to videos from the same playlist. That is so helpful!

  • I have one Youtube channel and I uploaded videos on my channel but since few days I face some issue in it. I am looking for this type of information those solve my issues. After reading this blog I am able to solve my problem so thank you so much for sharing this genuine information it is very helpful for me.

  • I figured that one out as soon as I needed to suppress the related videos not coming from my channel. So, I made sure that all of my training videos have a nice branded slate as the postage stamp image and now users will see only those postage stamps at the end of my videos.
    These are embedded on Wordpress in an iFrame.

    Until the next crazy change they come up with for some reason.


  • YouTube and Google, the evil empires...

    There is "kind of a fix" -- to keep others' videos from appearing after your video has ended, insert -nocookie between youtube and .com as shown below:

    This will show videos from your channel, not related videos based on your viewers' recent activity.

    Or use Wistia, the best video embedding on the Web.

  • Thanks for sharing this. I was referred by a friend.

    It never stops. YouTube and Google trying to take over more and more of your attention and time bit by bit. And now it even expands to trying to take over your viewers attention.

    Looks like any YouTube video you embed on your site is going to be funneling people back to YouTube. But at least, you can keep them on your channel, and try to direct them from your channel back to your own websites and properties.

  • Yes, that's the solution I met, but it requires YT account access for management. And here's a tutorial on how to do it:
    Step 1 create an individual channel for videos where you do not want to show any related videos at the end. Any videos you upload to this channel also need to be set to Unlisted. Even though unlisted on youtube they will still play in your embeds on other sites.
    Step 2, of course, is to include the rel=0 at the end of the URL. This means show only related videos in the channel of origin. If videos are unlisted, then they are ignored, so it is like there are no related videos.

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We are all slaves to Googles wishes, like it or not.