VideoSurf Claims Next Level of Video Search Relevancy

    June 10, 2009
    Chris Crum

VideoSurf is a video search engine I’ve written about in the past. Today, the company unveiled its latest release.

WebProNews received an email from them, and a spokesperson tells us, "VideoSurf is taking video search to the next level." He mentioned the following highlights:

Improved search results – new methods to weed out irrelevant videos, spam and misleading thumbnails (did you know that 20% of all videos on the Web are spam?)

People in the Spotlight – be entertained with videos of the most popular personalities on the Web, and discover related videos

Homepage re-design that lets you discover videos that are related to what the world is buzzing about on Twitter, Google, etc.

That relevancy is probably the thing that people care most about when it comes to video search. Frankly it’s been an issue that has plagued video search in general.

"Search is what we do here," says  Margo Brockman on the VideoSurf blog.  It’s what we have a team of world renowned mathematicians constantly iterating on and tirelessly working to improve.  Our goal is always the same: better, more relevant results for your searches and a faster way to connect you to the videos you want to watch. 

The new release of VideoSurf is also designed to "attack" spam. The company says that over 20% of videos on the web are spam, and they have responded to this by improving the way they use their vision technology to automatically detect spam videos and algorithmically devalue them in their rankings before they make it onto the results page.

"Because other video sites are unable to see the video content, they can’t know that their users are being misled," explains Margo. "VideoSurf however, is able visually identify the problem and boost the video down in our search rankings automatically. We even take it a step further. If we need to show this video in our search results, VideoSurf is able to automatically correct the inaccurate thumbnail so that the leading thumbnail we show is more representative of what the video is actually about (all this in addition to showing you all the most important scenes in our Visual Summary)."

Margo provides the following example screenshot with a comparison between YouTube and VideoSurf results:

video with a misleading thumbnail


YouTube search results


videosurf search results

 Duplicate videos often plague video search, and VideoSurf has this under control too. The company’s "Computer Vision technology" recognizes duplicate videos and groups them together to improve relevancy and save the user time.

duplicate search results

"Other video site’s deduplication technology relies on matching up titles and start/stop times," explains Margo. "It’s not their fault; that’s all they have to work with. However, our ability to see inside videos lets us take this a step further. VideoSurf is able to identify each video’s unique visual DNA and match it against others in the index."

Features of VideoSurf’s new homepage include a hot searches feature, which pulls the most searched for terms across the web, the people in the spotlight feature, which is a collection of the most searched for people on the web, which if I understand correctly is in real time, and the Watchboxes feature, which appears to just be a featured videos section.

Have you tried the new VideoSurf yet? If so, let us know what you think of it.