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Video Search Faceoff: Yahoo! vs. Google

January 25th, 2005 Posted in Yahoo! Related

So Google launched their video search last night; we launched ours back in December and last night we pushed it to the front pages of Yahoo! and Yahoo! Search, as well as adding the Video tab to the search results page (which we affectionately call the SRP or "serp").

Google went in a slightly different direction here; their search is based on searching closed captions and video transcripts instead of looking for actual video. The idea is interesting and has great potential, but at this point their product is pretty useless. For one, relevancy is plain awful: take a look at the query yahoo. All of the matches are for SBC Yahoo! DSL ads on the sides of the pages; there is not a single relevant result. Or take for example the search Blonde Redhead, which returns 3 results of transcripts regarding makeovers and nothing about the band. Plus, if you can actually find anything you’re looking for with Google, it's just downright frustrating not to be able to actually watch the videos. Yahoo! Video Search on the other hand, returns useful results; again, try Blonde Redhead and you’ll get a bunch of relevant results including a live in-studio performance and some music videos, which you can click on to watch. And I didn’t hand pick these queries to make us look good; these were the first two I tried.

We went through a lot of cult worship before when Yahoo! first exploded in the mid-nineties, and it all wears thin once the company grows and the bottom line becomes important. This is the first time Google has launched a sub-standard product, I think we’re starting to see the pressure kick in and Google’s magic fade.

More Examples I Tried:

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