Google Video is the Future of Google

Google Video is the Future of Google

Last week Google took a step in their new direction by adding a link to Google Video above their main search box, and dropping their link to Froogle. The change in search option choices on the main page of Google and its internal pages is reflective of the search industry as a whole; as the current trend in citizen content production is focusing on multimedia – which complements that of traditional blogging, forum participation, or page creation.

The link change on the Google Search Box was not the only major announcement to come from Google Video, but one of many spanning from monetization of the system, new community building tools, strong partnerships with two of the largest video competitors on the market, and the restructuring of the Google Video interface. The changing of the links is however, opening the gates to the millions of Google users who have not experienced the Google Video system nor possibly even thought of the ability for a search engine to index, categorize and return video in search results. And the results of this grand re-opening of Google Video have been amazing from a traffic standpoint.

Links on the Google Homepage seem to change as often as Mars orbits the Sun and such a change is quite dramatic. If you think about the indexes offered on the Google Homepage, they are essentially the bread and butter of the Mountain View based company; Web, Images, Video, News & Maps. Ironically enough, the News and Images search engines are not yet monetized by the search engine, while Web & Maps (local) bring in the bulk of Google’s internal revenue. They all however, play an important part in Google’s personalization efforts, as News and Web are playgrounds for Google Suggestions & Recommendations.

Unlike the other choices Google lays out on its Homepage and internal search results, Google Video has become its flagship offering which represents what may materialize as the future of Google when it comes to 2.0 Style Web Community, Multimedia Advertising, Behavioral Targeting beyond search, and Google’s direction beyond our mobiles, laptops and PC’s; and into our TiVo’s, Cable Channels, Satellite & Traditional Radio, and Friendship Networks.

Before diving into the internal details of the Google Video System, let us take a look at the impact which adding Google Video as a testing and ready for primetime system has brought about.

According to Bill Tancer of Hitwise Competitive Intelligence, Google Video instantly became the 5th most trafficked Google Channel in the system while traffic from the Google Homepage ‘surged from 50% to 70% in a single day.’

Replacing Froogle on the preferred Google Channel link list, Google Video visits dwarfed those recently enjoyed by the Google Froogle shopping portal. Which leads to the end result of Google Video being more branded and more important to the online lives of Google users than Froogle. Additionally, users may be accustomed to the serving of Froogle results embedded within traditional Google web results – and not necessarily have been attracted to the Froogle link. Add the hotness of Video uploading & sharing into the equation, and the result resembles this chart provided by Mr. Tancer at Hitwise:

Google Video & Social Search

The buildup to the mass organic marketing of Google Video via this homepage link has been quite spectacular over the past few weeks. Google has obviously borrowed the key components of their main competitor in the video upload & sharing space; YouTube. Like YouTube, Google Video has Flickrized their index, with tagging, commenting and other blogging influenced attributes to the system. Google Video has become Google’s testing ground for social search, a direction Google’s main competition at Yahoo has committed the entire future of the company too.

And earlier this week Michael Arrington at TechCrunch showed his viewers a comparison of the current Google Video format and the new format which can be tested using these simple instructions: To see it, view any video (like this one), then replace the URL with “javascript:setCookie(’np’,’old’);window.location.reload();” and hit enter. A yellow-highlighted option to “Try our new page layout” will appear in the top right. Click that and you’ll see the new layout.

Here is Michael’s comparison of the two. Notice how the newer Google Video format (at the bottom) resembles YouTube in more ways than one:

Building to the irony is that although Yahoo has turned around their search technology, travel & finance channels, local, photo uploading & sharing, and web community services with the development or acquisitions of del.icio.us, Flickr, Yahoo MyWeb, and Yahoo Answers – Google has developed a top of the line 2.0 offering in its Video channel; which is the one channel still underdeveloped (yet growing) within Yahoo. And let us also be reminded that Google Video has only been around in its current form for a bit more than one year.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker

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2 thoughts on “Google Video is the Future of Google

  1. A year on, it seems Google has lost faith in Video. On my results’ page in November 2007, the choices read Web Images Products, with Video relegated to the bottom of the pop-down menu at the end.