After over two years of rumors and threatening, Google finally “officially” pulled the plug over the weekend on its Google Video service. All users who had uploaded videos to the service received an email stating that playback of video content on Google Video will end on April 29. The move will affect only videos hosted on the site, not the popular video search engine tool.
Since its creation in 2005, Google video was a video sharing site very similar in concept to YouTube. Which is obviously why they bought YouTube the following year. Since Google Video ceased uploads in 2009, it has settled in to be more of a search tool for video discovery. This redirection to search is reflected in the email message sent from Google this past weekend:
“We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.”
What does this mean to you?
If you have content on Google Video, download instructions are included in the email they sent out to users. They also encourage you to move the content over to YouTube (big surprise) and give you until May 13th, 2011 to retrieve any videos you may have uploaded to Google Video.
If you do not have videos hosted on Google Video, absolutely nothing will change. It will be interesting to see how and what they have in store for search on Google Video. Will it be to further augment content discovery? Will any developments drastically affect how online videos will need to be search engine optimized in the future? Will it develop some sort of video advertising platform that works intuitively with how people consume content online?
My guess is if search is how they are going to “officially” focus the site, then drastic changes may be coming soon. Time will tell.