Google Videos

Google Videos is now an independent vertical search of Google Inc. Originally Google Videos was a service which provided hosting and search results for video searches on the Internet. Today YouTube, which is part of Google has taken over the hosting function.


In 2005, Google introduced a video search named Google Videos. Just one year later Google acquired the video platform YouTube. By 2007 you could search for video material on Google Videos that the search engine crawlers found on other video hosting platforms like YouTube and which you had uploaded to the Google server yourself. In 2009, Google ended the option of video uploads. Two years later, the content of Google Videos was migrated onto the YouTube platform. The project Google Videos as host, was eventually discontinued in August 2012. What remained within the product portfolio was the “Google Videos” vertical search. Meanwhile, the Googlebot cannot only crawl videos just on specific video platforms, but also index them from ordinary websites or online stores.

How it developed into a video search engine

Google built its own video platform continuously with the aim of providing a huge video archive. The distribution of films and other professionally produced audiovisual material was part of the plan. Google first concentrated on providing high quality video clips with representatives from higher education. Moreover, some US channels transmitted popular TV series on Google Videos.

In 2009, Google launched the Google Video Store, where customers could download movies for a fee. However, this project was terminated later on. Today you can download or stream movies on the Google Play platform.

An important step on the way to becoming a search engine for videos was the acquisition of YouTube by Google Inc. YouTube was very popular then and Google was primarily known for its role as a search engine. This may have partly been a reason why Google decided to further establish the YouTube brand and expand the functionality of the portal.

Video distribution methods

Within the digital rights management (DRM) framework, Google provides several options for uploading and downloading videos. Legal regulations and the format of a video are an important factor.

  • Website That was the first address for a video search. You could view and download videos there. Different formats were able to be uploaded. Since 2009, the YouTube platform replaced Google Videos. [1]
  • GVI: GVI was a format that extended the well-known AVI files with specific Google markup. Meanwhile, the format and the corresponding player has been cancelled by Google. Current players treat a GVI video as an AVI file.
  • Flash: Flash is the standard format for Google Videos. Each video has its own address in the form of:<video id>
    You can set permalinks on this type of video. A URI is used.
  • AVI and MPEG4: To download or view videos from Google Videos, AVI and MPEG formats are also provided. However, this is dependent on the end-device being used. In particular, ipods or mobile devices use MPEG, while a PC uses the AVI format.
  • Third party providers: Third party providers who download Google videos to store them on the user’s computer are not on legally safe ground, because Google wrote its DRM policies specifically in such a way that you have to use Google products or compatible formats. In addition, there is possibly a copyright violation if downloaded content gets further circulated.

Using RSS feeds, the results of a Google Video search can be viewed in an RSS format. You simply add &output=rss to the existing URL of the search.

Relevance to online marketing

The Google Videos vertical search engine and YouTube platform offer different options for online marketing to advertise brands, products, or campaigns. Both large and small companies can create in their area or their niche, certain types of video content to draw attention to themselves. Worthy of mention here would be webinars, video podcasts, and creative videos that highlight the specific characteristics of brands, products, or campaigns.

While markup adapted for search engines would be the focus of attention as far as SEO is concerned, marketing deals with content and first incentives. Such incentives are supposed to increase the interest on the part of users and convince them that a certain brand, a product, or service will meet their needs.

To promote such content, other Google products can be used for, example Google AdWords. Ads can be shown with specific keywords to highlight content, even if that would be financially sensible only for specific types of content. Remarketing is particularly interesting for larger enterprises, because anyone searching within a Google platform for video content will be automatically tracked through Google’s web history. This data can be used as input for remarketing.

Relevant ads can be placed based on that information, which may ultimately result in a conversion or lead. Video content is not only a means to promote branding, but can also be seen as part of sales and can be implemented as inbound or permission marketing.

Google Videos and SEO

Universal search is gaining importance for SEOs around the world because search results are more and more enriched by Google with information at least since the introduction of Google OneBox and Knowledge Graph. You no longer get just snippet, link title, and link to the website from the organic SERPs. Search engine optimization, which is based on the widest possible diversity with respect to the visibility of a website should not ignore video optimization. Videos hosted on the YouTube platform or embedded on your website as iframes clips are an important factor. Even your own flash movies can now be indexed by Google’s crawlers.

If you additionally work in the field of snippet optimization, you mark up the videos on your website. The aim, therefore, is not necessarily to be placed high in the Google Video search, but to provide the search engine with videos with as wide a range of information about a specific topic as possible. With Google Videos, the search engine has the resources and technology to find video footage in all formats on the web.


  1. Spring cleaning in summer. Accessed on 06/07/2014