Plannedscape Postings

  • Blog Home
  • /
  • Google Results - Do You Really Want Video Results?

Google Results - Do You Really Want Video Results?
Why Watch When You Can Read

Posted by Charlie Recksieck on 2024-02-29
The fastest way to get an answer on a question is a Google search.

But consuming those results used to be faster. In the past, you likely could have read the answer to your question the upper part of a Google results page.

What do you usually see first? Videos!

Why Videos Instead Of Text

The reason is pretty simple: They can place ads in videos.

Google emerged as the top search engine around the turn of the millennium for basically two reasons: 1) Their search algorithm was a little better, 2) Their results were purer, unlike Yahoo and Alta Vista, you couldn't buy top placement at the time at Google, and 3) Their look was clean.

Those advantages allowed Google to definitively win the search engine wars.

But over time, Google eventually needed to monetize their position. Paid SEO was part of it. They had to walk the delicate line between keeping their results pure and making money.

As they grew, they also bought YouTube. Now they were the ones making money selling YouTube ads AND could push search results that featured ads.

Is It Just Me?

Entire careers in tech are spent on reducing page loading times and making the internet as fast as possible. It should follow that Google's search responsibility would be to get you whatever answers you need in the shortest amount of time.

So, which gets you answers faster: An article that probably gives you the info you're looking for in the first couple of paragraphs which takes about 5-10 seconds to scan and read - or a link to a YouTube video which may or may not have an ad up top, often an intro from the content maker and eventually your answer within the first couple of minutes.

Apart from speed, personally I prefer text. The answer in print doesn't move. I want to see the words. Video, the answer goes past you and if you want to "read" it again, you've got to press rewind.

Maybe I'm in the minority, being more of a reader than a "visual learner."

Conclusion #1 - Money Always Wins

Perhaps I'm a child of the hippie era. But sometimes I feel like money ruins everything. It's possible that's just the way of the world. Anything good always gets corrupted by money interests.

But, if we're lucky, we get a little window in technologies where we can enjoy maximum benefits before things get ruined. We just experienced a great run where if we were an Amazon Prime member, then we could stream ad free.

In the long run though, powerful forces making a buck are what drives everything. Whether a solution is the most efficient one becomes the dominant solution, it only happens if somebody can profit from it. If Google makes the most money by teeing up video search results, AND it doesn't annoy their users to a point where they'll go somewhere else - then they'll drive us to videos.

Conclusion #2 - Voice Searches

Here's the good news: Voice search is continuously emerging as the way we make our searches or ask questions "on the internet." Most of us are connected most places now. Our cars can answer our questions or announce our phones' answers to our questions. Smart homes are just one "Alexa" or "Google" away.

Voice searches don't come with a list of prioritized search results. You only get one result, so until that changes, our devices are most interested in giving us what we're looking for right away. With typed search, not quite as much.

Thanks for indulging me and reading my rant masquerading as a scholarly article.