Videos in Blended Search

This post is a follow-up to last weeks post on Images in Blended Search. Today, however, we will focus on videos in blended search. As with last week’s analysis, we will look at 10 different search terms to see how each of the four largest search engines behave in response to those queries. Here is the raw data:

Yahoo tom brady video shows 2 of them, as 1st and 3rd result, both from YouTube
Google tom brady video one video in position 1, from YouTube
Microsoft tom brady video 3 videos from video search, right up top, 1-3 from video search
Ask tom brady video 3 videos from Blinkx, profile on left
Yahoo scooby doo videos 5th and 6th, YouTube
Google scooby doo videos 1 on position 6, YouTube
Microsoft scooby doo videos 3 videos from video search, right up top, 1-3 from video search
Ask scooby doo videos 3 videos up top, movies and profile on left
Yahoo nosferatu images up top: halloween-mask.com, movieforum.com, flickr, video in position 9, YouTube – the whole movie
Google nosferatu one, in position 3, from Google Video – the whole movie
Microsoft nosferatu no videos
Ask nosferatu no inline videos, images, music guide, encyclopedia, and 2 videos on right
Yahoo I have a dream 4th and 9th, both from YouTube
Google i have a dream position 1, a book, Google Book Search, position 5 and 6, Google Video and YouTube
Microsoft i have a dream no videos
Ask i have a dream no inline videos, images, encyclopedia, 2 videos, and news on right
Yahoo one small step for man 1 result, position 8, YouTube
Google one small step for man no videos
Microsoft one small step for man no videos
Ask one small step for man no inline videos, nothing over on right
Yahoo alaska videos no videos
Google alaska videos no videos
Microsoft alaska videos 3 videos from video search, right up top, 1, 2, 13 from video search
Ask alaska videos 3 videos up top, nothing on right rail
Yahoo nascar videos positions 8, 9, both from YouTube
Google nascar videos position 7, YouTube
Microsoft nascar videos 3 videos from video search, right up top, 2, 3, 4 from video search
Ask nascar videos 3 videos up top, nothing on right rail
Yahoo parachute videos 2, 3, 6, YouTube * 2, metacafe
Google parachute videos position 5, 8, killsometime.com, kewego.com
Microsoft parachute videos 3 videos up top
Ask parachute videos 3 videos up top, nothing on right rail
Yahoo rolling stones videos 3 results from Yahoo Music, also links to Yahoo Music page for the Stones videos, Note: comes up in a window over the search results (which are greyed out)
Google rolling stones videos no videos
Microsoft rolling stones videos 3 videos from video search, right up top, 3, 4, 5 from video search
Ask rolling stones videos 3 videos up top, 1st plays over search results, second jumps to rolling stone.com, music guide on right
Yahoo britney spears videos 3 results from Yahoo Music, also links to Yahoo Music page for the Spears videos, Note: comes up in a window over the search results (which are greyed out)
Google britney spears videos 5, YouTube, goes to the page, and then runs video (does not show inline or semi-inline)
Microsoft britney spears videos 3 videos from video search, right up top, 3, 4, 6 from video search
Ask britney spears videos 3 videos up top, profile on right rail

Here is a summary of the key things I found in looking at the above data:

  1. Google and Yahoo truly blend their results into the web search results. In other words, one or more of the 10 blue links now is in fact now a video instead of a web site. This is probably because Google and Yahoo attempt to way the relevance of the video results in comparison with those of the web results.
  2. Microsoft and Ask do not blend in the video results when you include the word “videos” in the search phrase. Instead, the videos are shown up above the search results. Evidently, Microsoft and Ask assume that when the query includes the word videos, that the most relevant thing to do is to show these results up top.
  3. Microsoft and Ask do not show videos when presented with popular phrases that don’t include the word “videos”. Examples include “I have a dream”, “One small step for man”, “nosferatu”, etc. (in the case of I have a dream, Ask showed 2 videos over on the right rail).
  4. Google and Yahoo do fail to show videos some of the time, even when the user’s query includes thw word “videos”. For example “alaska videos” (Google and Yahoo) and “rolling stones videos” (Google).

The data illustrates what an early state we are at with videos being blended into web search. There really is no reason not to show one or more videos to the user when the user includes the word “videos” in their query. Their intent has been made clear. On the other hand, if someone types in “one small step for man” or “I have a dream”, it would seem appropriate that one of the choices include a video.

Bottom line, none of the engines have this perfectly scoped out just yet, and there is lots of room for improvement. Nonetheless, the general notion of integrating video into web search results is definitely happening, and it’s a great step forward.

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