I was working on a client's old website and I noticed that some of their YouTube links were broken and looked like this:


At first I assumed it was some kind of typo, but then I realized that:

  • They probably didn't manually type the URL
  • It was like this on multiple pages
  • The links were probably correct at some point or else they would have noticed it
  • A Google search shows that quite a few websites, particularly old ones, have this exact same issue.

It almost seems like some kind of weird find and replace issue, but what kind of legitimate pattern would even cause that?

I can't find anything about this, and I'm not sure what kind of harm could come from it (aside from the links being broken). If it was caused by something malicious and the goal was to switch it to a phishing URL, then surely a valid link would have been more effective.

1 Answer 1


Not a full answer but I found this which seems to suggest it's something do with YouTube "Lyte", to determine the appropriate way to optimize the videos.

WordPress YouTube Lyte

It seems there are a couple other variations to the prefix: httpa and httpv (without the "h" at the end).

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