Posted October 30, 2008 5:44 pm by with 7 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Today the WSJ profiles a number of video search engines that actually seem to be getting smarter. Instead of relying on external meta data to determine the content of a clip, these engines are looking to data internal to the clip itself—including dialogue and people (or characters) appearing in the clip. And yep, one day YouTube might not be the #1 video search engine (although they may still be the #1 video hosting site).

Some of the more advanced video indexing technology is capable of indexing by images in the video, including characters and actors, using a form of facial recognition software:

Elsewhere, VideoSurf Inc. is analyzing the actual visual content of videos using technology known as “computer vision algorithms,” which produces more relevant search results, says Lior Delgo, the company’s chief executive. Computer vision is the science of programming computers to process and analyze images and video.

For example, VideoSurf’s technology can identify characters within search results. A search for the television show “Lost” brings up results for the show and also a thumbnail photo for each character. Clicking on the thumbnail of “Lost” actress Evangeline Lilly will bring up clips from the TV show and also other clips of Ms. Lilly, like her appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman.” The site has indexed 10 million videos from 50 different online video sources.

Six weeks ago, Google premiered Gaudí GAudi, a video search engine that uses speech recognition to find words in clips and cue up the clips in SERPs to the uses of the keyword. So far, GAudi is only processing election videos, but the technology is being refined through this process and will hopefully be applied to other categories.

Mefeedia is also taking into account user ratings/votes in its ranking schemes. OVGuide relies on people in a different way—editors select the sites to be indexed and says they also have editorial control over ranking.

These two engines are meta search engines for video, pulling results from several different sources (licensed, possibly bootleg and UGC included)—and plenty of them don’t host original video content at all. Also in this category is the familiar name Blinkx, which indexes content from Hulu, CBS and Showtime. Blinkx also uses external clues, including links from Wikipedia or social media, to identify potential viral hits.

What advancements in video search are you most looking forward to?

  • Hi Jordan,
    Wow. Excellent stuff. I was wondering when this was going to happen. Thanks for being on the cutting edge and getting us this great info.

    I appreciate you.
    Dali Burgado

    Dali Burgado’s last blog post..Outsourcing for Productivity and Success Online

  • I wish we got Hulu here in the UK

  • Hi Jordan – Frank from Mefeedia here. Our video search uses mostly external “social relevancy” cues, collected from thousands of sources around the Web. So, it isn’t just what our users are voting, but what is happening to that video around the web – views, commments, ratings, embedding, sharing, etc.

    Inspecting the video object itself typically works for only a limited library of content – such as what DigitalSmiths did for To scale to the entire video web, there can literally be thousands of clips that are almost identical. To produce great results, you have to look at the other factors – including source, social factors, etc… that is what Mefeedia does.


  • Speech recognition and video recognition being used for more than their initial purposes has been on various individual’s minds from a bit after their creation. There are numerous options available, as, for example, games which could be much more interactive with users based on the words they use, their tone, and possibly their movements while playing.

    Armen Shirvanian’s last blog post..Using Long-term Thinking To Reduce Regret

  • This is going to take video search engine optimization to a whole new level.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Link Metrics for SEO

  • I recently starting using which is a super aggregator, I can get a quick scan of popular movies, tv shows, cartoons and news and they update the site ON the hour every hour so for me it’s a time saver if you kow what I mean? don’t have to visit 28 different sites to get my fix 🙂

  • Pingback: FFFFFF » Blog Archive » Index your life()