You may have seen this Google Search feature that has been in testing for a couple of months, but in case you haven’t, check it out. Google will now return portions of YouTube clips as a search result when you search for certain things.
Left: YouTube Clip Result. Right: Normal result.
This search result can typically be triggered by placing “YouTube” in front of your search query, and works best when you’re searching for, say, how to videos. For instance, searching “youtube how to make perfect popcorn” brings up a short 25-second piece of a video from Alton Brown (who is quite entertaining, by the way, and I was compelled to watch the entire video after the bit I saw).
The feature can be hit or miss depending on what you’re looking for and the exact clip Google suggests. For instance, the 25-second Alton Brown clip did intelligently begin at the point where he actually begins the cooking process, however I would have missed the preparation and the end of the process had I not watched the full video, which are all important parts of the glorious popcorn popping process. In other videos, the information I needed was offered within the pre-determined clip length suggested by Google, and other times the clip was totally useless.
It’s clear this is still in the testing stages right now, but once it’s fully ready this could be an awesome evolution for mobile video search for those times where you don’t necessarily have a full 5 minutes to watch a meaty YouTube video. See how the feature works out for you by trying some YouTube-specific queries in your Google Search app.