Google video: 2.5 years later, my predictions come true

When Google bought YouTube in October 2006, I wrote a blog entry about how Google video is a hosting site and that with the purchase of YouTube, Google has the opportunity to turn the Google brand back to video search.

Well, today, that prediction has come true and Google video has stopped hosting videos for users. So, things are now clear: YouTube is a video publishing site and Google video is a search engine.

Hold on: not so fast.

According to ComScore’s most U.S. search engine Rankings for August 2008, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web, ahead of Yahoo. At Vquence, we explain to customers that many people now use YouTube search as their entry point into the Web. Video is their Web. And when it comes to video, it’s all about YouTube.

Because people search for videos on YouTube, most videos that get published will have a copy on YouTube. Thus, YouTube is the dominant place to find video – not Google video. Also, YouTube is turning more and more into a search engine like Google: just this week they published “featured search results“, making a YouTube search result page look almost identical to a Google search result page: there is some featured content on top of the actual search results and there are some paid-for ads on the right.

Since it has taken Google such a long time to move Google video from hosting service to search service, I wonder if it’s not too late for Google video already. It feels now just like an add-on to YouTube – a place you go when all other searches fail.

Yahoo video search was once the best video search around. Then came Truveo and blinkx and a whole bunch more. Now, nobody writes about them any more – everybody just goes to YouTube itself or to Google Universal Search to go and find a video.

It would be nice if Google video search stayed around – if only as a discovery tool for when Web video goes directly onto our TVs. But I doubt, Google will find a good way to monetize it. YouTube’s search will be monetized quicker and more effectively.

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