Go to Google’s home page and at the top left you are given a number of options for refining your search: “Web, Images, Maps,” etc. At the end is a link for “more.” Click on that and at the bottom of the list, right after “Video,” you will find a new option: “YouTube.” Enter a search term and you are taken straight to YouTube’s homepage. Not the search results page on YouTube for that term. Just the homepage, where you have to enter your search results again. [Update: This should be easy enough to fix]. This is odd on many levels, not least of which is that every other search option returns actual search results on Google proper.
Obviously, Google owns YouTube and can promote it any way it wants to. But how does this new search option help me as a consumer looking for videos? Typing the same search twice is no fun. And having to choose between “Video” and “YouTube” is confusing. Not to mention, it is redundant. After all, I can already search on “Video” and get results from YouTube combined with a few other sources. Even there YouTube videos dominate. For instance, try searching Google Video for something generic like videos about “laughter” and eight of the top ten results come from YouTube anyway (Metacafe is thrown in at No. 4).
YouTube is synonymous with online video for many people. But why would I want to get less results when I am searching for videos on Google? If I want to search only YouTube videos, I can do that myself by just going to YouTube. You’ve got wonder if this is the first step in replacing Google Video search with YouTube altogether.
Video once held pride of place among the search options on Google. It was right on the homepage, third after Web and Images. Then it was nearly Froogled—bannished to the bottom of the “more” list. Now YouTube creeps onto that list. Google is supposed to search the Web, not push Google’s products. As with last night’s Knol announcement, Google seems increasingly to be moving into the content game. Maybe we’ll see a return of Google Tips as well, or blog search that favors posts written on Google-owned Blogger.
Ah, remember the old days when everything was simpler?