AOL Video Search Site Truveo Relaunches In 17 Nations; Lands Deal With Univision

AOL’s video search engine Truveo is launching a global revamp tonight — across 17 of its country-specific sites, including in the U.S, where it is aiming for a less-cluttered, almost Google-like home page.

Truveo is the second-largest video search engine worldwide, behind Google (NSDQ: GOOG), with 25.6 million unique visitors, according to comScore (NSDQ: SCOR), and the second largest in the U.S., with 5.1 million unique visitors, per Truveo’s internal numbers. For the time being, online video directories are likely to remain fairly small, especially as YouTube and Hulu solidify their dominance. But Truveo CEO Pete Kocks predicts that more challengers to those sites are likely pop up, and if that happens, Truveo could benefit as users turn to guides to navigate a more crowded field.

One of Truveo’s current priorities is partnering with video-content sites. It just struck a deal with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, which will use use Truveo to provide video search on their site.. The Spanish TV network’s goal is to keep users on its site longer by helping them find videos their interested in.

Even though video ad spending remains one of the few robust categories left, for the time being, Truveo’s own site will be fairly light on advertising. “We want to improve the user experience on the site first and foremost,” said Kocks, who came over from Google in 2005, a year before AOL bought the site. And that’s what the relaunch is designed to do. The new video index contains more than 350 million online videos from thousands of sources around the web. The cleaned-up Truveo also makes navigation a bit clearer, with users able to search according to channel, category, show, popularity and “most followed on Twitter.” It’s also got more sharing features.

Kocks said Truveo had been working on the redesign for six months, adding that it has been content to stay under the radar at AOL, which has been through assorted turmoil, including the spinoff from Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). The site is set to be placed in a new division called AOL Ventures; Kocks and a company rep declined to offer additional details about how AOL Ventures would fit into the broader company structure.