A Comparison of Video Search Engines

As a continuation of my previous blog post on video search engines, I thought it would be fascinating to test out a couple video search sites to see how their results differ. As I wrote in the aforementioned post, video search engines can be classified as either independent or proprietary, depending on whether or not they are biased toward their own hosted content. Here, I set out to find just how different the results are between various video search engines by making a comparison between Google Video Search, Blinkx, and Truveo.

In order to obtain meaningful results, I wanted to test a keyword that was related to business marketing, as well as geographically specific. I decided on Boston house painters. A Google video search for this term produces 679 results. Around half of the first-page results are from YouTube, while the other half are from a variety of different sources. Relevance to the search term seems to drop sharply after the sixth page of results. Searching for Boston house painters on Blinkx (an independent video search engine) produces many more results: around 29,000. However, only the first three pages of results seem particularly relevant to the search terms. Another independent video search site, Truveo, produces disappointing results. Truveo does not tell users the number of matches for a particular query, but I did notice the majority of the results after the first five were not relevant to Boston house painters.

In terms of ease of navigation and usability, Google wins hands-down. By having the cleanest interface, as well as a plethora of options to sort and filter search results, Google video search is the most pleasant to use of the three I tested. The Google results can be sorted by video length, date uploaded, relevance, video quality, or source. Meanwhile, Blinkx’s interface is a bit cluttered, and I did not appreciate the fact that the top result begins playing automatically, causing longer load times. Truveo looks clean and well organized, but there are few options for sorting or filtering results.

In summary, the three search engines found very similar results, but placed them in a different order. There was no significant difference between the number of videos from a particular source (i.e. Google did not list a disproportionate number of videos from YouTube). This experiment demonstrates the complexities of video search. With each search engine being differentiated, it is growing increasingly complicated to place your site to the top of the results for each of these sites. Although Google is currently the undisputed “king of search,” it could be dethroned at any time by a start-up with a few innovative ideas! Your business needs to be prepared for this possibility. Let Skillman Video Group take care of your video optimization needs, and keep your business ahead of the curve!

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