Google offers a dedicated Google Video search designed to bring back videos from across the web, in addition to its own YouTube service. However, something seems seriously wrong with Google Video. Some searches promising to lead people to video content fail to actually do so.
Here’s an example using Apple:
In this case, I searched for “Apple” on Google, then selected “More” and then used the “Videos” option. The results are the same as if I went to Google Videos directly. Both the second and third listings promise that there’s some video content on these pages. But neither page has videos on them.
Here’s another example, this time with “Google” as the search term:
As with the Apple examples, neither of the two istings highlighted have videos on their pages.
The first example from Google, for Google Inbox, does have a “Watch the video” link on the page. When clicked, that will cause an actual video to load within the page. But for the rest, getting to videos from the pages is difficult to impossible.
For example, the second Google exmple — for Project Tango — makes the video available only if you figure out that clicking in the “For Developers” box will make a box appear at the top of the page that in turn requires another click to play the video:
That’s a lot of work and hunting for someone who thought clicking on a listing at Google would take them directly to where they would watch a video immediately play. I only figured out the video was there among all the other content by going to the HTML source code.
With the Apple pages. I simple can’t find any way to trigger videos at all. There are references to video content in the source code, but these references don’t appear to be rending the video into the pages in any way. Yet, this seems enough for Google to list videos as somehow being in these pages.
We’re checking with Google for comment about this.
Postscript: Google pointed out that on one of the Apple pages, there is indeed a video. It’s of an Apple Watch face moving. IE, not a big video on the page but a small animation. Google also agreed that there’s likely stuff that it could do when listing videos for search results but said it had no immediate plans to announce.
In other words, Google doesn’t think this is that big of a deal. I disagree. If you’re going to have a video search engine, people actually expect that when they click on a video listing, they should get a video, not an opportunity to search again for it.