Yahoo launches video search site

Yahoo has launched a test site for searching video content on the web.

Yahoo has launched a test site for searching video content on the web.

The site, at, went up on Wednesday and pits Yahoo against competitors such as Singingfish, which is owned by America Online.

The search service allows users to narrow their query results by file format, size or by duration. Users can also filter results based on internet domains, by specific website or can exclude unsuitable content.

An entry about the video search service was posted on the official blog of the Yahoo search team ( on Wednesday in the name of Jeremy Zawodny, a Yahoo search executive.

"The costs of producing video content have been steadily decreasing in recent years. Between the adoption of broadband internet connections and easier to use video editing software, it is no surprise we are seeing a lot more video content make its way on to the internet. And what is out there today is just the tip of the iceberg," said the entry.

Zawodny talks about the existing challenges search engine providers face to find video content, which in many cases are "hidden behind complex Javascript, Flash-based players, and other non-crawler friendly obstacles".

To address these difficulties, Yahoo will enable its search crawler to support indexing of video enclosures in RSS feeds, according to Zawodny. "At the most basic level, this is just a matter of pointing to a video instead of an MP3 file," he wrote. "The beauty of this is that there is existing infrastructure for handling simple enclosures. Many RSS readers already consume enclosures."

Yahoo also wants to promote the use of metadata in video content, which would make the content easier to find and index, Zawodny wrote.

"We are suggesting an optional set of metadata extensions we have been calling 'Media RSS'. They are aimed at publishers who would like to provide a rich set of metadata about the media being published. Our video search system will also support these Media RSS extensions in addition to video enclosures," he wrote.

Juan Carlos Perez writes for the IDG News Service

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