Google Aims to Improve Video-Sharing Product

May 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he plans to improve the company’s Web video-sharing product by attracting more clips and providing new ways for users to search through the content.

“The principle is first you get the content and then you do better searching and indexing,” Mr. Schmidt told reporters Wednesday during a break in the company’s annual press day in Mountain View, Ca.

Google, the world’s biggest search-engine company, can make inroads in the Internet video market by giving users new ways to seek out material, Mr. Schmidt said. The company that emerges as the leader in video search will have a leg up on competitors as the number of online videos explodes into the tens of millions.

Searching for video presents technological difficulties because the short takes don’t necessarily contain text that current search technology would pick up. Google needs to develop a product specifically for video search, said Alan Eustace, Google’s senior VP of engineering during his presentation.

“Video is tough,” he said during a question-and-answer session with reporters and analysts. “What people experience from video is very different. We have to develop products specifically for video.”

Google will solicit help from Web-video auteurs to help make Internet clips easier to find, Mr. Eustace said.

“You have to ask users to provide labeling, and we use popularity and other metrics,” Mr. Eustace said. “But there are lots of things you can do to get users involved, like popularity and clicks.”

Google Video ranks third in visitors among video-sharing sites, behind YouTube.com and MSN Video, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Popularity among the growing horde of Web users who trade video positions Internet companies to strike deals with established television companies looking to capitalize on their cachet.

Google is also considering ways to apply its search expertise to wireless technologies, Mr. Schmidt said.

“All of those people will use [mobile devices] for search and they will do it more,” he said.

Despite Google’s expertise in the Internet, the company had trouble with its wireless networks throughout the morning event. Elliot Schrage, the company’s chief spokesman, announced several times that Google was working to fix its public wireless networks for the reporters and analysts.