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My question: if I were to create a short, highly targeted domain name, place that domain name in the video and do a 301 redirect of said domain, can the new domain be content-less? And, would the linking power from Youtube transfer to my long domain site, which is the final destination.
I'd be interested in how others deal with this scenario. My other option would be to start over with a new, simple domain name. But that's a last resort.
It seems like either you follow your proposed scenario and potentially get 85% of the link's value passed on, or you redirect all of your long domain to the new one and only get 85% of all the old domain's power voted over.
Certainly you don't need to have content on any domain for the redirect to work, technically, but I'm not sure how YouTube would view a link to a redirected domain. It might have a short shelf life.
How about hosting one page on the new, short domain so you have a totally legit landing page for your YouTube link? The main menu on that page could all point to URLs on the old, established domain. That way there's no redirects, just links.
Thanks for the response. You bring up a valid point regarding Youtube's treatment of a redirecting domain. I have to look into this. The second point about creating a landing page with the simple domain name and placing valuable content referring to my ugly domain is probably the way I may end up going.