It looks like Google is toying with the idea of showing web page results in YouTube search,
You might not see it if you try a search on YouTube right now. It’s apparently just a limited test.
Here’s what we know so far.
YouTube “Results from the Web”: An Accidental Discovery
A Reddit user discovered the new feature by accident. He searched for the oh-so-popular “open beer with knife” keyword. What he discovered in the results list surprised him.
YouTube displayed a few videos that matched the search term just as he expected. But below those videos he saw another section labeled “Results from the web.”
That section unsurprisingly included web page results. The top entry was an article entitled “Open a Beer Bottle With a Butter Knife” from lifehacker.com
The Reddit user posted a screenshot of the search results for everybody to see.
Google Webpage Search Results in YouTube Is Organic
There’s no evidence that lifehacker.com paid for that listing. It looks like it’s organic.
In fact, if you go to Google right now and search for “open beer with knife,” you’ll see that the lifehacker.com link occupies Rank 0 in the results list.
That tells me that YouTube is just borrowing the Google search algorithm to list the matching results from around the web. Remember: Google owns YouTube, so it’s easy to share the search algorithm between platforms.
The question is: why would Google want to list web results in YouTube searches?
Does this New YouTube Feature Promote User-Friendliness?
As I’ve mentioned so often in this space, Google is obsessed with user experience. The company does everything it can to ensure that people who use its software get what they want out of it.
So that’s clearly the thought that went into this new feature. Google wants to make it as easy as possible for people to get the information they’re looking for, even if that means leaving the YouTube platform.
In fact, Google already lists YouTube results in its organic search results. So why not list organic web results in YouTube searches? Fair is fair.
Also: YouTube is a search engine. No, really.
It’s the second-most popular search engine in the world next to the Big G itself.
But do YouTube users really want to see web results when they perform a search? Probably not.
Think about it: if you’re searching for “open beer with knife,” you probably want to see how it’s done on a video. I don’t think you want to read about it.
A video is worth a million words, after all.
Reddit Users Chime In
There are plenty of folks who seem to think that YouTube should confine its search results to YouTube videos. Here’s what some Reddit users had to say:
It’s worth noting, though, that some people on Reddit were pretty cool with the new results. One person said that he often does a back-to-back search between Google and YouTube so it’s convenient to see everything in one place.
Wrapping It Up
Your mileage may vary. You might prefer an all-in-one search engine that covers both videos and web results. Or you might like to confine your YouTube results to videos only.
It’s likely that Google will continue to test the new YouTube results feature and make an informed decision based on user feedback. If you’re one of the lucky few who sees web results in YouTube search, be sure to make your voice heard.