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Google Video Expands Focus on Search

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Google Video had been comprised of videos that were submitted by users, or uploaded by content providers for purchase. It appears that Google has revamped its idea of what Google Video should be, and that is a Web-wide video search engine.

Back in January, Google began integrating YouTube videos into Google Video results, and said at the time that the strategy for Google Video and YouTube would be to continue to play to their respective strengths. They plan to continue pushing YouTube as an entertainment destination and community site, and Google Video as a search tool. Ultimately, most user-generated and premium video will be hosted on YouTube, with Google focusing on video search, monetization and distribution.

That plan has moved forward this week, according to Google spokesperson Gabriel Stricker:

Now we've made even more progress towards realizing that vision. On Google Video, users will now be able to watch videos from various websites via a web crawl. For those videos which were not uploaded to YouTube or Google, users will be able to see a thumbnail image of that video and then have the ability to be redirected to where the video is hosted in order to watch it in its entirety.

This week, Ionut Alex Chitu at Google Operating System has spotted some changes to Google Video, and Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped follows up with more details.

Lenssen writes:

it looks like Google realized their strengths and finally turned Google Video into an actual web-wide video search engine: the latest update will not only incorporate results from different sources, like YouTube, Vimeo.com, CollegeHumor, eBaumsWorld, MetaCafe, Google Video itself, Yahoo Video or MySpace... it will also present those in a new frame wrapper, similar to what you'll be used to at Google Images.

When Google launched its Universal Search results last month, it began showing thumbnail video results from third parties like Metacafe, as well as full inline video results from YouTube and Google Video.

In Google Video results now, users will see up to 15 thumbnails in a javascript slide-open window. This is part of the broader goal to innovate "video crawl," Stricker said, which lets users search for online video content irrespective of where it may be hosted.


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