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YouTube Passes Yahoo As #2 Search Engine 125

Posted by timothy
from the your-safe-search-is-showing dept.
Dekortage writes "According to the latest ComScore rankings, YouTube's search traffic for August surpassed Yahoo's. The latter dropped roughly 5% in traffic from July. Among other things, this means that Google now owns both of the top two search engines. AdAge further speculates on Google's experimental 'promoted videos' cost-per-click advertising on YouTube, suggesting the obvious: more money."
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YouTube Passes Yahoo As #2 Search Engine

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  • Yeah, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:28PM (#25371353)
    But how much of this is RIAA/MPAA-run robots searching for song/movie names?
  • "Search engine"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:32PM (#25371397)

    Calling YouTube a "search engine" by comparison to Google and Yahoo is...interesting. I mean, I guess it's technically true, but it's about as relevant as comparing Google with Slashdot site search.

    • Re:"Search engine"? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PitaBred (632671) <.gro.sndnyd.derbatip. .ta. .todhsals.> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:33PM (#25371419) Homepage

      A lot of people search the videos for information, talks by Richard Dawkins, car reviews, whatever. I think it's perfectly valid to call Youtube a search engine, even though it's a very specialized one.

      • by corsec67 (627446) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:47PM (#25371595) Homepage Journal

        Would "grep" be considered a search engine, then?

        I use it to find stuff at work all the time.

        • Re:"Search engine"? (Score:4, Informative)

          by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04NO@SPAMhighpoint.edu> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:14PM (#25371967)

          People use Google or Youtube when they're not sure where to look. grep is for people who have a specific set of data to search through and need a line containing a specific term.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cream wobbly (1102689)

            No, you tube, I often use grep -r; or find and grep together; or locate and grep; or rpm -qa and grep; or ypcat and grep; or heck, a for loop, wget, and grep.

            I think you don't grok grep. I'm not sure where to find the info, and that's why I use grep to pull it out.

            My "specific set of data to search through" could be, by way of argument, a database of user-submitted videos. I might use a left join rather than grep, but you get the idea...

            Neither grep nor YouTube are search engines, in the accepted sense of t

            • Re:"Search engine"? (Score:4, Informative)

              by HappySmileMan (1088123) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @03:14PM (#25372959)

              Neither grep nor YouTube are search engines, in the accepted sense of the word. YouTube employs a search engine to return results, but it isn't one in its own right.

              Well then the search engine Youtube employs has overtaken Yahoo.

              This argument was a waste of my screen space, moreso than the very debatedly inaccurate summary

              • by jonadab (583620)
                You're conflating two different meanings of the phrase "search engine".

                YouTube employs a special-purpose internal search-engine that greps through its database of YouTube videos to return results that are YouTube videos, exclusively. In other words, YouTube is only a search engine in the most general sense, the sense in which Lexis Nexis and Ebsco and Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia and Novelist and Gale and SIRS and Perlmonks are also search engines. This is NOT what people usually mean when they c
            • by Sophira (1364317)

              Have you ever done a grep -r /, grep -r ~, or similar?

              Because if not, you're illustrating the GP's point. You know what files you're looking in, but you don't know what file something is in. You're searching a specific set of data, in this case, files that reside in a particular place.

              Similarly with locate. Your set of data is a list of pathnames, and not only that, but pathnames that have already been filtered by the locate command. Again, you know you want to look in a specific place - a list of pathnames

              • Have you ever done a grep -r /, grep -r ~, or similar?

                I'd say that was highly probably, given the other examples I suggested.

                [with locate] you know you want to look in a specific place - a list of pathnames

                How is using YouTube searching in a non-specific dataset?

                I'll agree that using grep on a series of pages fetched with wget is non-typical. But so is searching for (let's say) gifts for alpacas in YouTube. It simply isn't generic enough: you're only going to get videos out, not shopping tips for camelidae.

                • by Sophira (1364317)
                  I wasn't personally suggesting that YouTube was a search engine. In fact, I agree with you that it's a specific dataset. I was merely responding to the idea that grep would normally be used in a non-specific dataset. I don't believe many people normally do a grep -r / - since you do, that's a bad assumption on my part, and I apologise. But I think you get the rest of what I was saying.
            • YouTube employs a search engine to return results, but it isn't one in its own right.

              Google search also employs a search engine to return results. Is it because YouTube only returns results that it hosts? Perhaps if it also included 3rd party results it would be more of a search engine to you? That sort of makes sense, but it's a gray area IMO.

              Ok, following that logic, if grep returned results from other people's computers would it be considered a search engine? Does response time play into the classifi

              • Is it because YouTube only returns results that it hosts?

                Pretty much. Basically we don't tend to think of site-specific search as being a "search engine" in the way that Google or Yahoo! or MSN Windows Live Search (or whatever the fuck it's called these days) is a "search engine".

                The main differentiator I guess is that a real "search engine" indexes materials which aren't under the direct control of the operator of the search engine. The distinction is meaningful because it's a fair bit easier to provide a useful search facility over data which is under your comp

          • Tubular!

            Now, we have some validation of the Internets being full of pipes and tubes!

        • Now you know where the "g" in google came from.
      • by jonbryce (703250) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:51PM (#25371663) Homepage

        video.google.com might be a search engine, because it can find videos from multiple sites, but mainly its own and youtube, but youtube is just a website with a search facility.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by 2nd Post! (213333)

          Google is also a website with a search facility.

          • by Rary (566291) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:41PM (#25372363)

            youtube is just a website with a search facility.

            Google is also a website with a search facility.

            YouTube is a website with the ability to search its content. Google is a website with the ability to search other sites' content.

            Basically, Google is a search engine, and YouTube has a search engine.

            • by mbarkhau (1137557)

              Basically, Google is a search engine, and YouTube has a search engine.

              I've always preferred encapsulation over inheritance.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by trentrez (918830)

              The real deal is this:

              Google's search scope is "the internet"

              Youtube's search scope is "videos uploaded to it's site"

              How you define what 'is' a search engine or what 'has' a search engine is moot if you talk about the 'scope' in which a search is performed and then it's 'method'.

              If I created a search "engine" thats scope was the internet and it used the same 'method' as google then it would give me the same results as google. Same argument goes for Youtube.

              Youtube just happens to be a special case in that i

              • by Ghubi (1102775)

                The point thus stands that this is pretty damn spectacular that Youtube which is only searching a small subset of data is being used more than Yahoo which is used to access in theory the same or a similar scope to Google, ie the internet.

                Well said.

              • by rtb61 (674572)

                However in this case by doing a comparisson and apples and oranges search they are merely obfuscating the output. So if you want to comapre google hits to Yahoo hits, you really have to take into account the other activities that Yahoo does that google does not, for example from the same site, http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=2504 [comscore.com], so Yahoo does browser gaming and google does not.

                Also in another article http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1991 [comscore.com] there is this interesting bit "Sea

              • by jonadab (583620)
                > Just because Google can search "outside of it's internal scope" (however that may be defined)
                > doesn't make it any different or doesn't make Youtube any less of a search engine.

                In the technical computer-science jargon sense, the Yahoo web search, the Google web search, and the YouTube internal search all operate because, under the hood, there's a "search engine".

                But that is not what people generally mean when they compare and rank "search engines". Generally when we say "search engines" we're usual
              • by Rary (566291)

                But scope is precisely the point. Although there are many "search engines" used on various different websites, when people talk about ranking "Search Engines", they generally mean websites that have a web scoped search engine.

                In fact, as I pointed out in another post, the article in question doesn't actually call YouTube a "Search Engine"; only the Slashdot headline does. The article first lists a ranking of "Search Engines", which does not include YouTube, then lists a separate ranking of overall "search a

            • What's wild about that is, it seems the best way to create a YouTube object is to create a YouTube class that has a member object that is a Google. So while the object oriented programming Google is a small piece of a YouTube, the real life YouTube is a small piece of Google. It's time for me to get away from the computer.
          • by cream wobbly (1102689) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:50PM (#25372567)

            Oh you're so coy.

            "My mineral growths with chewing ability are aching! Please take me to a monkey with dentistry abilities! In a vehicle with powers of self propulsion!"

            "I'm sorry monkey with paying abilities, we're going to have to pull the lot, using a tool with pulling abilities."

        • by Bios_Hakr (68586)

          I rarely use google to find videos. First off, then index sites like stupidvids.cn that are hosted on 56k dialup accounts routed through bangladesh.

          I go to youtube because it's a known variable. They have just about everything and it's usually faster than my DSL. If I can't find it there, I'll use google as a fallback.

    • by DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:47PM (#25371597)
      It's a rubbish use of the term. I guess Amazon might even be a bigger search engine than YouTube. Some of the big DNS servers are probably pretty big search engines as well.

      What a useless way of using words.
      • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear&pacbell,net> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:38PM (#25372325) Homepage

        Only true if Amazon traffic was higher than YouTube traffic :)

        Essentially the point is that more people are searching within YouTube for videos than within Yahoo!, for everything. Which says something about marketshare. Even Amazon is listed, and it ranks below Microsoft's Live search site.

        • Yahoo! has more people using its search feature.

          YouTube has more searches taking place.

          There may be some correlation between number of searches and market share, but that's not necessarily so. You could have what the submitter would call the "#1 search engine" by having a script query your servers 24/7, but if you were the only unique visitor your market share would be nil.

          • by Korin43 (881732)
            Actually his market share would be 1/(number of people who use search engines), which is slightly larger than 0.
            • if you were the only unique visitor your market share would be nil.

              Actually his market share would be 1/(number of people who use search engines), which is slightly larger than 0.

              Grandparent's point is that even if a fraction "is slightly larger than 0", it might still be within statistical uncertainty of 0.

      • by spectral (158121)

        Except that amazon is listed right there in the article, at the very bottom (168 million). This is a misleading headline anyway, since it's Google, then YouTube/Other Google Sites, then All Yahoo Sites. Who knows, maybe all those searches were on google maps and gmail?

    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:52PM (#25371673)
      By that standard any site with a search feature is a search engine. A search engine is really something that provides search results from other sites, not its own site.
      • How the hell did you get modded insightful? A search engine is a search engine, no matter whether you limit results to one domain or a million.

        And yes, any site with a search feature is using a search engine, why is that so hard to understand?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ravergonemad (512740)

      True, a better comparison to Youtube would be wiki, when you already know where the content is, but need to filter it.

    • by Arrakiv (1272134)
      Yeah, I have a hard time considering YouTube as a 'search engine', but I must admit that YouTube having more searches traffic through it than Yahoo is somewhat surprising. Even if it is /. and I shouldn't be doing that, the article is pretty interesting.
    • by JWSmythe (446288) *

      Some people would say that it's like comparing apples and oranges. I think it's more like apples and watermelons.

      My apples are round, and juicy.

      But your watermelon is bigger and juicier. It doesn't make your watermelon the better apple.

      Youtube is primarily driven by its searches. That's why it has more search traffic. It's not off-site traffic though. Google and Yahoo (generally) link to offsite resources, not to their own content on their own site 100% of

    • by jonadab (583620)
      That was my first thought, too. YouTube has a search feature, but it isn't what we generally think of when we say search engine". Usually when we talk about search engines we mean general-purpose web search engines, which index and search other sites. To my knowledge, YouTube does not compete in that space.
  • by alex_vegas (891476) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:32PM (#25371403)
    People who search on yahoo are not looking to stay at yahoo. People who search at youtube are looking to stay at youtube. This story is bogus.
    • by ajs (35943) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:40PM (#25371497) Homepage Journal

      I actually search for all of my Web needs on YouTube first. I find that it really reduces the number of Wikipedia links I have to surf past ;-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by marcosdumay (620877)
        You also can get all that usefull info available at the user comments.
      • I actually search for all of my Web needs on YouTube first. I find that it really reduces the number of Wikipedia links I have to surf past ;-)

        So does -site:wikipedia.org. The trouble is that once you blacklist enough sites from your queries, such as Elsevier, Wiley, and the other paywalls that fill result pages, you start running into Google's limit of 32 words per query [wolf-howl.com].

    • by gangien (151940)

      And the fact that it might not technically be a search engine, makes exactly what bogus?

      • by eihab (823648)

        And the fact that it might not technically be a search engine, makes exactly what bogus?

        The claim that "YouTube Passes Yahoo As #2 Search Engine".

        (Posted without RTFA because it sounds trollish anyway)

    • by Facegarden (967477) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:35PM (#25372283)

      The story isn't bogus... If a general purpose search site that searches the whole web, and used to be number one, now gets fewer searches than a single-purpose video search site, it really underscores how low yahoo has fallen!
      -Taylor

      • by jonadab (583620)
        It doesn't get fewer searches. It gets less *traffic*.

        Well, duh. Yahoo is serving out (carefully HTML-formatted) lists of URLs. YouTube is serving out videos. Which one do you suppose is generating more bytes of traffic?
        • It doesn't get fewer searches. It gets less *traffic*.

          Well, duh. Yahoo is serving out (carefully HTML-formatted) lists of URLs. YouTube is serving out videos. Which one do you suppose is generating more bytes of traffic?

          I suppose that depends on how they define traffic? I didn't RTFA but i'd be curious...
          -Taylor

    • by Rary (566291) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:48PM (#25372519)

      People who search on yahoo are not looking to stay at yahoo. People who search at youtube are looking to stay at youtube. This story is bogus.

      It should be pointed out that the article doesn't call YouTube a search engine. It lists rankings of the 5 major search engines, then it does a separate ranking of "search activity", which includes any kind of searching within a website, and includes such searchable sites as MapQuest, MySpace, and Amazon.

    • According to Wikipedia (Found via their search engine):

      "A search engine is an information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. Search engines help to minimize the time required to find information and the amount of information which must be consulted, akin to other techniques for managing information overload.[citation needed] The most public, visible form of a search engine is a Web search engine which searches for information on the World Wide Web." http://en.w [wikipedia.org]
  • by Lost Race (681080)
    Youtube is not a search engine. It is a video hosting site.
  • Competition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wiarumas (919682) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:33PM (#25371435)
    But is YouTube in competition with Yahoo? This is apples and oranges. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by philspear (1142299)

      Wait, are you saying that youtube is going to start making their own brand of computers called "Oranges" to compete with macs!?!?

    • by hansraj (458504) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:44PM (#25371565)

      But is YouTube in competition with Yahoo? This is apples and oranges.

      I say that comparing the comparison of yahoo with youtube to that of apples and oranges is comparing apples with oranges!

      -------
      I wish I had something useful to say.

    • One of the key sources of revenue of search engines is the market indicators collected by recording and indexing the search patterns of consumers. In that regard, YouTube and Yahoo are in direct competition. Advertisers can research and target fertile markets just as precisely with the market info gathered from either site.

      I remember reading back in the early 80's that Road & Track magazine made more from selling its subscriber list than from advertising in the magazine itself. I inquired about it wh

  • by philspear (1142299) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:36PM (#25371463)

    I'm inclined to doubt this. Youtube doesn't host any porn. That's easily 70% of the internet right there.

    You mean to tell me that people are now more interested in videos of people getting hit in the nuts and TV clips that are not SNL or daily show than they are in sex? LIES!

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:40PM (#25371509)
    When I am on Youtube I typically perform several searches and stay on Youtube the whole time. On the other hand when I go to a search engine I typically perform one search and click on one of the results and leave the search site. As somebody else pointed out the media company bots must be constantly searching Youtube for certain keywords to identify copyright violations. The whole comparison is nonsense.

    Last I heard Yahoo still beats both Google and Youtube in total number of unique visitors and that is the stat that matters to advertisers.
  • How did all these people end up on YouTube in the first place? What search engines feed the most people onto the site?

    Does a mechanism even exist for gauging the objectivity of search results?

    I use Google apps, gmail, etc.. but I am worried about the changes that take place when any company gets too deeply entrenched at the top of their niche. I would feel better about Google if their side projects were doing a little less well.

     

    • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @01:52PM (#25371671)
      How did all these people end up on YouTube in the first place? What search engines feed the most people onto the site?

      That's a good point. For most google searches these days I tend to get something like this:

      1. Wikipedia entry
      2,3 youtube videos
      4. google news
      5.... everything else, still sprinkled with videos, mostly youtube

      If google owned Wikipedia then most of their top search results would be leading back to google sites.
      • Just riffing on the concept...

        Search is weird because it currently can't work by returning 'objective' results.

        Engines get ahead by returning the 'best' results. With 'best' being defined by the wisdom of the crowds, and the wisdom of the crowds being heavily influenced by advertising, and the advertising ultimately paying for the search infrastructure that provides the results...

        Who is going to regulate this industry? Not the people in power right now, or in the immediate future from what I can tell (my

        • *ack* Last line should read "who is capable of regulating this industry? Not the people in power..."

          Apologies.

        • by 2nd Post! (213333)

          Why is it important to regulate the industry at all?

          Other than for malicious intent I mean. If people want to find what other people think, what's wrong with this setup?

    • "How did all these people end up on YouTube in the first place?"

      Email

    • by Mprx (82435)
      Youtube is useful for some types of searches. Eg. I wanted to know if pikes bit humans, and I assumed that if they did somebody would have recorded it and uploaded it to Youtube. Youtube search "pike bite" and there it is, video proof of pikes biting humans. That is much better than trying to interpret all the dubious fish stories you'll get with the same web search.
  • throwing chairs like never, EVER before....

    (Wait, what's that rumble i hear from up north....SHIT, he's activating various fault lines in California and the West Coast....)

  • by ohtani (154270) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:19PM (#25372031) Homepage

    The article is being read incorrectly. "YouTube/All Other" is surpassing Yahoo!, meaning anything that is part of Google! could be included, such as the book, code and news searches. Or groups. Or Picasa. All combined.

    Take a look at Microsoft's stats. It's split into Live and Microsoft.com/All Other

  • if you are in a race and you overtake the guy in second place, what position are u in?
  • When I search on google, doesn't that automatically pass through to youtube in many cases (and thus count as a search for youtube)?

  • by nog_lorp (896553) * on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:45PM (#25372449)

    Google is number 2 to Google? How long till that new upstart 'Google' takes number 3?

    • by owlnation (858981)
      Not long. And neither returns great results these days. Just further proof that Google seriously needs competition. Why has it been 10 years since there was any major breakthrough in "search"?
  • Not Suprising..... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by IHC Navistar (967161) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#25372627)

    This is no suprise..... Yahoo has long allowed their service to degrade in favor of profit. The thing that made Google *the* search engine when they came out was that the page consisted of just a logo that said GOOGLE and a field to enter your search into. If you wanted info on other services GOOGLE had to offer, all you did was click a little hyperlink and you would then be taken to another page with the services on it.

    Yahoo, on the other hand, crammed their page with every advertisement, product plug, sales pitch, and "junk" shopping service they could possibly fit onto the page.

    Google is a simple, easy to use search engine, and it is absolutely no suprise it has become as giant as it is. This is mainly due to the simple, uncluttered sales-pitch free interface. The simple interface ade people want to use it, thus generating more money, thus allowing it to grow bigger.

    Yahoo has turned itself into the America Online of serch engines: Nothing but advertisements, sales pitches, product tie-ins, marketing, and "junk" services.

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