The future of Google Video search

From the Official Google Blog, we learn that Google Video searches will now include links to videos hosted at YouTube, but in the future, Google Video will index “the world’s online video content” whereever it exists.

Starting today, YouTube video results will appear in the Google Video search index: when you click on YouTube thumbnails, you will be taken to YouTube.com to experience the videos. Over time, Google Video will become even more comprehensive as it evolves into a service where you can search for the world’s online video content, irrespective of where it may be hosted.

This actually makes a ton of sense. Google will focus on indexing all the world’s video content, regardless of where it exists, and not try to host it all. There are scores of “YouTube” like sites cropping up everywhere, so one of the major challenges for Google will be how to manage duplicate video content. Many marketers/advertisers will upload their videos to all the video sites they can. It will be interesting to see how Google will rank the results when the same video is hosted in dozens of places. I suppose Google Video and YouTube results might appear first.

The biggest challenge of all may be to avoid indexing all the UGC (user generated crap) that millions of amateur video producers will be posting online.

I was in Las Vegas recently when the CEO of CBS took the stage at CES and showed us a glimpse of the future. As they presented a totally lame video produced in Second Life using some CBS Star Trek content, I began to worry that the future of television will include millions of home-made poor quality video clips with all the intelligence and redeeming value of South Park or Beevis and Butthead, or the kind of fake porn or near porn that Mark Cuban says exists in so much abundance on YouTube.

Mark recently blogged about the the top 20 most played videos on YouTube in December.

Go through the list. Only the StarWars PSA, the Christmas Tree Jump and PowerTool Racing are really user generated content. 3 out of 20.

From there you have a contrived 12 days of christmas that is one of thousands of promos for Youtube users themselves trying to build a following. Is this social networking at its best?

From there we have commercials or promos for movies, tv shows, blenders, knives, music videos and for a phone company. Then we have the most popular of Youtube videos these days. The fake Porn thumbnail with headlines of: Britney, Paris, whoever, nude, in the shower, wherever, doing whatever. 5 of the top 20 are fake porn.

This is the future of TV and entertainment ?

Thats what Youtube has become. Fake Porn and Commercials. Sure there is still some fun stuff on there and being uploaded, but how long before fake porn just takes over? It was 9 of the top 20 for the week as I write this.

At CES, Michael Dell showed a historic cartoon showing what might have happened if ancients had access to personal computers (Dell computers of course), and he wondered outloud what Spielberg would be doing now if Shakespeare had been producing action movies in the 1500s.

I worry when we start thinking that video is more important than text.

If you haven’t read Neal Postman’s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, you should.

I hope Google or someone can figure out a way to index all the good, wholesome, uplifting, educational, informative, appropriately entertaining and useful video content and filter out all the rest, at least for those of us who don’t want to fill our minds with garbage. Some of us still believe in the “law of the harvest”–that what you sow, you shall also reap. And some of us want to have all the positive benefits of technology without all the negatives.

Think about it. Stanford hosts the most successful investors and entreprenuers of all time and posts the full video interviews on their entrepreneur education web site. This is really valuablel stuff. Probably get a few thousand views each, if they are lucky. Meanwhile, YouTube gets millions of views of the fake porn videos that Mark Cuban refers to.

Makes you think about the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and other civilizations that lost their bearing and got corrupted by entertaining themselves to death (sometimes literally).

Recent polls show that about a third of young people in the U.S. read the bible weekly, but a third have also watched a particularly violent TV show in the last month as well as a violent movie. If you add “a violent or raunchy” web video to the poll, I bet the numbers are much higher.

So if the Bible and Shakespeare and the classics keep fading from popular culture, and our minds become more and more filled with lousy UCG, what will our country look like in the next few decades, and how will we respond to the incredible economic and educational energy coming from China and India and elsewhere in the world?

As a social entrepreneur, I like to look for opportunities to counter the negatives that I see in our culture with new positive things that can be done with modern technology. My focus for the next few years will be on genealogy and connecting families using technology. But I admire other social entrepreneurs who find ways to use modern technology to improve our minds and solve all kinds of problems.

I’m especially excited about Google Book Search and the other projects that are underway to digitize all the books in the world. I haven’t seen any Hitwise or Comscore stats showing the usage of these online projects. But I’m interested to see how many people will use them. I fear that it will be only a fraction of the people who use video search.

4 Comments

  1. Adam

    “The biggest challenge of all may be to avoid indexing all the UGC (user generated crap) that millions of amateur video producers will be posting online.”

    “UGC” is what made YouTube. It might be crap, but that’s what people want. More to the point, what might seem very irrelevant to you is very relevant to me.

    Did you mean something else?

  2. “UGC” is acceptable to me, because in all of that crap I find “UGA” (User Generated Art), and “UGP” (User Generated Programming).

    For the purpose of my reply, I will use the terms UGA and UGP from now on…

    When my group made and submitted videos to MTV, they were treated rather unfairly, and it seemed that no matter how hard we tried to get in, it was a closed door, where only corporate pockets deep enough could get art into MTV. Likewise with music. The mainstream is horrible, and everyone complains, but nothing is ever done about it. Video is the same…

    Well, that’s done. Now when we make art, it is judged by our peers as crap or genius, which is real, respects the intelligence of our fans and keeps us creating with encouragement.

    Aside from this, to sit and search for something meaningful to watch, like uploaded documentaries, independent films, surreal art, or plain stupidity is my right, and it is beautiful to exercise this right without having to sit through the real world of programming…

    ‘Friends’, ‘American Idol’, and add the millionth ‘Reality TV’ show and then tell me CBS, NBC, and their ilk is doing something better for the culture.
    They helped destroy it. I live in Orange County, and the O.C. is an insult to my surroundings.

    On YouTube, UGP is better, because when I sit with my daughter to watch, we see a funny clip, music videos from artists we like, educational films on electronic music (when will that be aired on NBC?), and animation. And we decide the order in which this stuff will play. And we amuse our friends by sending them links to these things, and we chat with other users, to bash or praise as it were… All in fun.

    And yes, we may point the camera at ourselves to amuse grandma 2,000 miles away and make her smile.

    Like the fall of the record companies (and it is coming), video content will be what we want, not what will be sold to us.

    — Claude S.

  3. Thinking outloudBlog

    […] “>The future of Google Video search From the Official Google Blog, we learn that Google Video searches will now include links to videos hosted at YouTube, but in the future, Google Video will index #8220the world#8217s online video content#8221 whereever it exists. Starting today, YouTube video results will appear in the Google …video:4 google:4Link to original post […]

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