Google is starting the process of using YouTube as part of its ecosystem. Last week, Google integrated YouTube into the Google Video search engine, so now when you search on Google Video, you will see videos hosted on both Google Video and YouTube. Also, YouTube has been switched over to a more accurate and faster Google-powered system, although it does not contain Google Video content.
Also, it gives Google an out should it choose to shutter Google Video, as Google would still have the search engine in place at video.google.com, making the whole thing not a total waste. Eventually, the logical thing is for the two services to merge, if not in a literal way, at least in a technology way, with both sharing the same index, the same file storage, and the same search engine, just with different interfaces and segregated communities, in order to provide something for everyone. Google does the same thing now with Google Blog Search and Blog Search on Blogger.
YouTube itself has a number of new features. There’s a new class of video creator, called “Guru” designed for experts in a particular field or subject. The “block user” system has been improved and is easier to use. Profiles are more customizable. They’ve also adding social bookmarking icons, to make it easier to get a video on Digg, del.icio.us, and others.
Hitwise reported that in the week since YouTube was added to Google Video, YouTube’s market share rose between 15-20%, from 0.54% of all internet visits to 0.64%. Google Video is now responsible for just under 9% of YouTube’s traffic, and you can be sure that as more people realize they can search YouTube through Google.com, that number will rise.
Google Video also launched a recommendations feature that suggests new videos for you based on what you’ve already seen. If the system is accurate, it could become very useful, and will likely be tailored to both sources of video at Google Video, including suggested YouTube videos. My recommendation page has Matt Cutts staring back at me (twice!), so it must be doing something right.