Google Video Transitions to Video Search

A lingering question since Google’s acquisition of YouTube has been what the parent company will do with its own video product, which it effectively announced was not good enough back in October.

Three months later, we are seeing the first integration. Google writes today on its official blog that Google Video “[will evolve] into a service where you can search for the world’s online video content, irrespective of where it may be hosted.” That doesn’t mean Google has disabled uploads or taken down currently hosted videos, just added a second source to the Google Video search engine.

In thinking about video search, we’ve been concerned that with the huge number of videos coming into and and video streams coming out of YouTube, there would be little need for — well — video search. For instance Dabble, one of the leading independent video search sites, said last month that 4 million of the 6 million videos in its index were from YouTube. If that’s the scenario, why take a sidetrip to a search engine when you’ll end up on YouTube anyway?

Back to Google. Salar Kamangar, VP of product management, makes the distinction that YouTube is a “content destination with a dynamic community,” while Google Video will play to the company’s core strengths: search and advertising. To that end, he offers a bit more detail on the new video AdSense trials, which will be, in un-Googley fashion, non-automated.

We’ll be working with a wide set of content providers, grouping together high quality video content from providers with high quality ads and offering them as playlists which publishers can select from and display on their AdSense sites.

OK, so that explains what’ll be happening off-site. Google’s other core ad business is connected to its search results. So far, the company does not place ads on its results pages for image searches. No word on whether it will keep that policy for video search results pages.

The hits-driven online video space is often about discovery rather than search — making services like Stumbleupon much more applicable. It’s also all about user experience; having videos that play instantly, without the interference of advertising, was a large part of YouTube’s rocket-trip to success.

Algorithm-loving Google appears to be seeing that it has to change up its standard approach, getting more social and more subtle, in order to succeed in this space.