Google Video Borrowing From Metacafe

    May 18, 2007

If Google Video doesn’t have the clip you’re looking for, you may be able to find it at Metacafe – through Google Video.  Yes, Google’s (less popular) video-sharing site now appears to be offering search results from sources other than Google Video and YouTube.

“Jilm” of the Google Blogoscoped Forum was the first to notice; he gave the video titled “Rat Monster Joke” as an example, and sure enough, the third search result from Google Video leads to a Metacafe address.  It seems unlikely that this is some sort of glitch or malfunction – Google has had time to “fix” the results if it wanted to.

Ionut Alex Chitu discovered yet another instance of the connection between Google Video and Metacafe.  The clip involves a British talk show host who, while in the presence of Halle Berry, pretty much loses the power of speech (and who can blame him?).

“While Google sends you to Metacafe if you click on the title link, the preview option shows the video in a Google Video player and, what’s more, Google actually hosts the FLV file,” writes Chitu.

He then continues, “Unlike the videos from YouTube and Google Video, the results from Metacafe don’t have previews and information from metatags in Google’s main results.  The only new addition is a thumbnail.”

Questions remain about just how – in a legal sense – Google Video can do this, but it seems likely that Metacafe gave its permission; after all, Google doesn’t just blunder about trying to make more work for its legal department.  In the meantime, any new feature that spreads around video of Halle Berry can only be viewed as a positive development.