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News May 5, 2005

Chris Richardson

Yesterday, Yahoo Search did something that may be considered quite foreign to other search engines: they brought one of their search features out of its Beta stage and officially launched it. I am referring to Yahoo Video Search and according to Yahoo; it offers "the most comprehensive video search product on the Web."

Discuss your thoughts about video search and Yahoo's officially launched service at WebProWorld.

Not only did Yahoo shed the Beta title from Yahoo Video Search, they also made sure they didn't introduce the feature empty-handed. During the Beta stage, one of the more requested features was having more searchable content in their video search index. According to the Yahoo Search Blog, in order to satisfy these requests, Yahoo formed partnerships with the following broadcast companies:

MTV, Buena Vista (including the latest clips and trailers for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy), CBS News, Bloomberg (check out the latest news on the Federal Reserve), Reuters, The Discovery Channel, Scripps Networks (the good people who produce Home & Garden TV and The Food Network), VH1, and more.

As indicated by Yahoo, these partnerships were formed in order to improve the overall quality of the Yahoo Video Search index. Not only did they develop partnerships with other content providers, Yahoo also received permission to index the Internet Archive's Moving Picture Archive. This particular archive features a wide variety of content, all of which will be searchable using Yahoo Video Search.

Not only is Yahoo seeking professionally broadcast video, they are also providing support for the amateurs as well. In order to entice more amateur video content, Yahoo has also introduced Media RSS. Media RSS allows those who feature video clips on their website an opportunity to submit a feed concerning their personal video content directly to Yahoo Video Search. A description from their Media RSS FAQ states:

On the publishing side, Media RSS is specifically designed to make it easy for webmasters, film makers, bloggers, and other media publishers to syndicate multimedia content such as TV or video clips, movies, images, and audio.

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Once the Media RSS feed is submitted, Yahoo Video downloads the file and considers it for inclusion. For detailed information on setting up an RSS feed for your video content, please visit Yahoo's Media RSS Module page.

When dealing with the search engine industry, the natural tendency with a launch like Yahoo Video is to do compare it to Google and their related product. While it's true Google has launched a video search service, the comparisons between the two stop there. For one thing, Yahoo Video Search is not in the forever-Beta stage.

Another difference seems to lie in the index of each particular service. It seems like Google is trying to be more selective in the content they feature. Whereas Yahoo seems to be more generally accepting, meaning their index size will probably eclipse Google's. This also means Yahoo's content may be a bit more risqué. To accommodate those with families or other sensitive viewers, Yahoo includes a search filter, which should catch most of the adult content some users try to avoid.

Google also seems to be focusing more on broadcast content provided by a number of television broadcast companies. Although, Google did mention something about adding content from video bloggers, as long as it isn't adult-oriented.

However, the most notable difference resides in the ability to actually view the videos you query. Yahoo Video Search supports this option, while Google Video does not. Currently, Google Video features descriptions of videos, which are taken from closed-caption text, along with a picture of the video. But you can't play it.

This leads to a question: why feature a video search that does not allow you to actually watch your results?

When you consider all of the above factors, users wanting a more comprehensive video search that actually allows them to view the content they are seeking should use Yahoo Video Search. Not only do those reasons contribute to the deciding factors, Yahoo Video also supports RSS, something Google has toyed with (but not approved) to this very day. So, if you want a video search with teeth, I would certainly recommend giving Yahoo's service a shot.

Just don't forget about the adult content filter if you are considered meek.

About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.
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