Google has started offering a beta of a new “Google Video” search. The function is a little counterintuitive given the name. No actual video files are searched – instead Google searches transcripts of TV shows (essentially the closed captioning).
I’ve been playing with it for a few minutes, and its kind of a neat idea. More useful for searching news programs than anything else, as it only covers what has already aired and not what is upcoming. And as anyone who has ever looked at closed captions knows, they are often riddled with errors (especially on live broadcasts). See here for a particularly bad example. There’s a limited number of stations covered for now as well (largely California network affiliates). But it’s still in beta and better than nothing.
For now, Google has no ads on the video search results. And as with Google News, the big question is how can Google claim the right to make money off somebody else’s content? I’ll be interested to see if they can spin this or their News section into profit-making.