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AOL Points Finger At Google Over Truveo Failure

"Google is treating us differently than our competitors"

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The AOL-owned video search engine known as Truveo isn’t doing so well.  The cause of the site’s poor performance isn’t a mystery to its president, however; in a very interesting statement, he quite bluntly placed the blame on Google.

Two days ago, Silicon Alley Insider published an article titled "AOL Ventures is Killing Truveo."  The piece documented a recent massive drop-off in traffic.  Truveo President Pete Kocks responded to say, "AOL Ventures isn’t killing Truveo – Google is."

Kocks later continued, "Starting June 16th, 2009, Google began removing all references to Truveo.com from Google web search and consequently our traffic took a substantial hit.  At that time, we were almost completely excluded from Google results  — not even the contact page on Truveo.com was available via web search.  The reality is that Truveo uses a number of industry standard techniques to increase traffic from web search and that Google is treating us differently than our competitors."

Compete statistics sort of back up Kocks’s claims, too.  Obviously, Truveo is having a traffic crisis.  Then, if you look closer, you’ll notice that Google doesn’t even appear on the list of Truveo’s top referral sites, whereas it’s number one where YouTube, DailyMotion, and Blinkx are concerned.

So did Google blacklist AOL’s video search offering out of spite?  Or did Truveo’s president overlook some sort of SEO-related reason for the change?  Have your say below.  A key point: either way, Kocks seems to have admitted that something’s killing Truveo.

AOL Points Finger At Google Over Truveo Failure
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  • http://www.vicktrade.com Fania

    I do love this post. it is interesting. In my opinion, it is hard to say the failure of Truveo which is caused by google or not. But I think google need charge some points on it. And thank you for your posting.

  • http://deck-boards.com texxs

    It’s really obvious why they’ve been dropped from the SERPS. (Noy that I ever noticed them before theere and I watch lots of videos) I just checked them out for the first time and they are blatantly stealing content from other web sites and displaying it like it was their own. alot like Bing is doing.

    Besides search results shouldn’t come up in another search engine as search results, duh.

    truveo is a lame scraper site that’s search-able. Why would it be displayed as a result for anything except variations of “truveo” or “video search engine”?

    PS they are gonna get the crap sued out of them (hopefully) , sooooooooo many DMCA violations. It’s as blatant as bing’s video search is!

    • Bryan

      Hi,

      Do you actually know the difference between video sharing sites and video search sites? Truveo, Blinkx and Bing have an index of videos available across the Internet, to allow users to easily discover videos available online. Similar to Google Web Search helping you locate web content. None of these sites actually stream or host any video content, rather redirects the user to the video. This is different from a YouTube, which allows users to upload video and search through videos uploaded on YouTube.

      In addition, the display of videos on video search pages is common practice. This is achieved by using the embed codes that a particular video may have included, e.g. embedable videos from YouTube. This certainly does not lead to DMCA violations, as the video is still being played back from the host site , not the video search site.

      • http://texxsmith.com texxs

        Sure I know the difference. I went to truveo looking for videos and all I found was other sites videos placed in an iframe on the truveo site. I looked for their own videos and they had none. All it is is a search engine,. Search engines doesn’t put other search engine results in their results. They used too, but people hated it so much they used Search engines that didn’t do it, and then the rest of them cleaned up their index.

        What bing does with videos is NOT the same as what they do with traditional internet search. They don’t put the whole page in their search results, strip the adverts out and replace them with their own (just imagine what would happen if they did!), instead they put a few words and a link to the site, you have to leave Bing to get to the content.

        If you look hard enough, you’ll notice the videos from companies that sue often (like viacom and youtube) open in external links instead of being ripped? That’s clear evidence they know what they are doing is illegal and they are afraid of being sued by companies with strong legal teams.

        In fact on the left sidebar they show which sites they are searching for videos and right underneath each video, it shows what site the video came from. Another clear indication the content isn’t theirs.

        If I had a video hosting site and my content (which costs tons of money to host, much less make), show up in their iframes I would at least send them a DMCA take down notice, and probably just start suing them (easy win). Ever heard of the troubles between Viacom and youtube? What AOL is doing is blatant theft of others content.

        In addition, the display of videos on video search pages is common practice ummm, no, it’s not, it’s very new and there are already lawsuits in the works against Bing for doing it.

        If you paid millions to make videos and then starting selling them and found AOL or anyone using them to make money, while using your bandwidth to do it, what would you do?

        If you were a cable company and someone tapped into your feed gave it away free and placed their own paid adverts on it, without payment to you or your permission, and it caused you to loose subscribers, what would, what would you do?

        If the answer is nothing and you had a board of directors, or even a boss, you would be out of a job.

        This certainly does not lead to DMCA violations maybe on mars, big guy, but here on earth it’s called copyright infringement.

        • Bryan

          Hi,

          Clearly you are refering to the traditional media business model, which is outdated in this Internet age. Wake up to the new digital media age.

          Perhaps you should look into a company named Google, who makes a billions of dollars making content (browse, image, video, etc) discoverable across the Internet. At the same time helped draw traffic to content owners, allowing them to monetize increased views. Ever tried Google Image/Video search? Of course, they frame or embed content. Don’t you think they should be allowed to make money of their their discovery service? Nobody works for free.

          Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo are not different and we should applaud these companies for their achievements, despite perhaps displaying content from a third parties in their search/framed pages. As long of the content is still originating from the host site/content owner. Who cares? That’s more views for that site/content owner.

          Video search engines drive traffic to third parties, ensuring an increased number of viewers, allowing the video content owner to drive in-video advertising, which is achieving higher eCPMs than display ads. Who cares if there is a i-frame or the video is playing embedded? Do you even realize that embedding is made possible by the video content owner including embed codes with their video? Internet is a volume-driven market. More views => more revenues. Why do you think professional content owners are forced to upload their video content to YouTube, even though they would love to have the traffic going directly to their site? YouTube own the video traffic online, even though they are a video sharing site. That’s a bad thing. That’s like only having NBC as the lone TV channel at home. Video search helps stimulate competition and creativity from video content owners.

          Release yourself from this traditional media thinking. It has already evolved. You sound a whole lot like these music labels, crying that no one wants to buy CD/DVDs/tracks via online music stores any more and are sharing their music through P2P illegally. Attempting to sue, but failing every time and wasting tons of legal fees. Dont you think it is better they spend their time and investment on how to take advantage of P2P sharing and other digital media opportunities?

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I enjoy this interaction.

          PS, dont call me big guy. Let’s keep it professional

  • David

    Good article. Google is known to suddenly drop sites out of their index. Their monopolist position enables them to control much of the online traffic. I do hope Microsoft-Yahoo can become in due time a stronger competitor.