Google’s recent change to their homepage highlights its commitment to the industry’s buzz around social. Last week, the Froogle link on the homepage was dropped in favor of Google Video. So as the search industry openly embraces the power of the community, Google has put its strongest social foot forward with Google Video.
So why has Google chosen video as its core foray into the social arena? Considering the social phenomenon embraces many different forms including blogging, social bookmarking, networking communities, photo sharing and so on, it is intriguing that Google chose video as its main focus.
The only logic I can purport is that video is an area that Google sees as largely untapped compared to the other major social/user generated areas. Their decision is probably reinforced by the fact that neither MSN nor Yahoo! has really made any serious headway in video.
Considering the resounding success of YouTube, the community potential of video is obvious, so maybe Google sees video as its way of getting ahead of MSN and Yahoo! in the social arena.
Google’s focus on video goes beyond the link change on their homepage. The Google Video interface has been given a major overhaul bringing it inline with many of the most successful social sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr. With tagging, comments and video ratings, Google Video is now more user influenced than ever before.
There have been some other noticeable changes to mark Google’s video direction. Some of you will have seen video links appearing at the top of search results. There has also been the very public deal with MTV to stream programs via AdSense and the ability to purchase MTV shows via Google Video download.
So the writing is on the wall. Video is the avenue that Google is taking to explore the power of social search in the short term. With everyone in the search game excited by the impact that people, user content and social influence will have on search improvements and results, here’s hoping Google’s learnings from its video endeavors are quickly related back to its core search offering.