Google steers users to Youtube over rivals?
A Wall Street Journal survey shows that Google would favour more, via its search engine, content hosted on its own video platform. This is making people grind their teeth.
Facebook and other competitors host the same videos, but engineers have made changes that effectively preference YouTube—owned by Google—over other video sources. Journal tests show YouTube usually ends up first and takes most of the slots in Google Search video carousels, prime results real estate. Wall Streel Journal
Dailymotion, a French video streaming platform belonging to the Canal group, has made a squeak against Google on Thursday 16 July after the Wall Street Journal published an investigation two days earlier in which the US media claimed that the Mountain View company favoured the content on its YouTube platform over that of its competitors Facebook, Twitch and Dailymotion.
YouTube's rival platforms are said to be given less prominence despite identical content on Google's results carousel.
In its investigation, the WSJ reports that Google engineers have made technical changes to the way the search engine handles video. In the case where similar content is posted on several platforms, such as Facebook, Dailymotion or YouTube, the version posted on Google's streaming service would almost systematically arrive before the others in the results carousel.
"We regularly find that videos available first on Dailymotion are less well referenced on Google than the same content published several days later on YouTube," says Dailymotion CEO Guillaume Clément.
The French platform takes the example of a banal video, posted simultaneously on both the service and YouTube. Despite its 1.3 million views, the video powered by Dailymotion did not systematically appear in first position in the carousel of results on Google. On the contrary, two thirds of the time, it was the YouTube version, with its 66 small views, that had the honours of the search engine.
"This raises questions about the ability of competing video platforms to grow and develop on a level playing field in the face of Google's overrating of YouTube, by far the most widely used search engine in the world," asks Guillaume Clément.
Dailymotion is not the only platform that Google has damaged compared to YouTube. Twitch and Facebook also suffer from this overvaluation of content posted on YouTube.
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Google takes defense.
"There is no preference given to YouTube or any other video platform," says Google.
"So the number of views, likes or comments received by a video on a given platform does not count in our SEO system. Our video SEO system uses signals from all video sources in the same way," says the US giant. These evoked signals would help to offer the most adequate results to Internet users. An explanation that will obviously be difficult to verify.
In recent years, Google has been pinned several times by the courts, both for its AdWords advertising agency (now Google Adps) and for its Shopping section or search engine. Each time for abuse of a dominant position.