Whether you call it blended search, 3D search (Ask’s name), or universal search, it has the potential to surface as many relevant results as other hot search topics such as personalization. At SES yesterday, I sat in the back of the Universal Search session. There are good write-ups on the PowerPoint and presentations, but not as much coverage of the questions.
Just to give you a flavor of the sort of questions that people asked afterwards, here are a few as I remember/interpreted them:
Q: (This was for David Bailey, the Google rep.) You showed a snapshot of metacafe.com entering Google’s search results via universal search. How can a video site get included in Google’s universal search?
A: Quite a few sites are already in there, and we would love to open that up more. Factors include things like reliable playability, lack of copyright concerns, no porn, etc. They’ll keep working to expand the sites that can participate.
Q: Do you expect to be crawling the web for videos?
A: Not right now. For the time being, you could submit your video to YouTube or other search engines if you wanted to.
Q: (for Yahoo’s Tim Mayer, I think) Do you expect to use 3rd party rating such as BizRate to help with ratings and abuse?
A: For now, we’re just using ratings on Yahoo.
Q: We have 20-30 videos on our corporate site. We wouldn’t show up in universal/blended/3D search?
A: Not right now, but you could always submit your videos to the different engines.
Q: (for Google) What other types of data do you expect to surface?
A: A good guess is the types of data that we already help search over, e.g. things like patents or code could be interesting, or Google Base has different feeds for real estate and jobs. Data that we already have is the most likely near-term, but most people probably care about well-known types of data like news, video, local, etc.
Q: Different IPs will see different search results? How can I see what someone in San Diego would see?
A: There’s not a great way right now. Some people use proxies.
Note from Matt: Google does provide quite a bit of this functionality. For example,
http://www.google.com/search?q=bank&gl=us searches as if you’re in the U.S., and returns Bank of America at #1. But http://www.google.com/search?q=bank&gl=uk does the search as if you’re in the UK, and returns Lloyds TSB at #1.
You can even look at ads based on lat/long, regions, cities, U.S. ZIP codes or U.S. designated market area (DMA). See this way informative post for more details.
Q: What future plans do you have to extract text from audio or video?
A: Everyone was silent for a while. David Bailey of Google gave the only reasonable answer that most search engine employees can give when you ask about future plans: we have researchers that work on such projects, but we have nothing to announce at this time.
Q: What are your three best optimization tips for video?
A: (various panelists answered.)
1. Choose a good title that describes your video
2. Tim Mayer from Yahoo mentioned exploring MediaRSS.
3. Erik Collier from Ask said “Make a kick-ass video.” Well-said, and a good reminder that compelling content makes optimization much easier.
Apologies if I’ve paraphrased any questions or answers incorrectly. Feel free to comment if you think I got something wrong.