There is much discussion on the integrity of Google. They have the motto “Don’t be evil”, but there are many who believe that is a farce. Those people also don’t like the fact that Google puts their own sites in the search results or even on top. Whether or not that is done by hand or that it is justified is a different discussion. The critics will now be at bit more silent if they read the latest update Google did last Friday on the results for music videos. A search for an artist or song which returns a YouTube video now has links to other video sites and search engines next to the results. If you search for the artist you will see links to sites like Dailymotion, vimeo, but also to search engines like Yahoo and Yandex.
So Google linking to competitors, that is quite interesting to be honest. Why is Google doing this? The most obvious reason off course is that it is the best thing to do for the user. Google itself puts it like this in their post: “The feature scans the entire web for video content and algorithmically ranks the best sources for each song. Rather than return repetitive links, we group results for the same song together, making it easier to scan and choose the song you’re looking for.” There might however be another reason Google puts out this change at this specific moment in time. As said there are many critics and in the European Union Google is even facing a formal investigation into whether or not they are abusing its market power. So a bit of ‘positive’ information will definitely help.
What about the feature?
So, do we like this change? I think we do. Not only is it something which can help users really find the video they are looking for, it is also a good marketing model for those spreading video content. You are not merely dependent on getting your video ranked in YouTube anymore. Other sites now can be used also to get some attention to your video. It might even be interesting for sites to actually set up their own video channel which could then be showing up as one of the other options to look at.