Looking at the March 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings would suggestion that when it comes to online video, there is Google/YouTube and then everyone else. Although there is a fierce battle for #2 and beyond on this list, it seems like nobody will pass Google anytime soon. That appears to hold true especially for Dailymotion, a small video site based in France that is struggling to compete with Google. So that begs the question, is Google skewing search results in favor of YouTube?
The short answer is no. As a matter of fact, Europe’s Antitrust Chief Almunia cleared Google in February of a decade-long antitrust investigation over unfair search practices. But that isn’t stopping competitors of Google, like Dailymotion, from claiming foul. Guiding search results on Google towards YouTube would be a huge benefit if even done slightly more than competitors as over two thirds of internet searches are done using Google according to recent reports.
The long answer is a complicated yes. Which is why Google has to take certain steps to allow for more competition in their search results. But just as in search, making a better product is important to drawing audiences away from Google and YouTube. Dailymotion recently took steps to do just that when it announced that it will be opening a second studio for video creators in London. Despite the fact that Dailymotion is non-existent in video rankings globally, they are ranked #2 in Europe behind YouTube and are Europe’s most visited web site.
So why is it that similar videos on Dailymotion, and other sites, pale in comparison to the traffic garnered on YouTube? Simply put, that’s where the audiences are. And there is no way they are budging anytime soon. But it just may be that search results are skewed a bit. One great comparison would be YouTuber Michael Warbux. He posts daily pop culture news videos specifically targeted at trending topics for his audience on YouTube. He also posts that exact same video on Dailymotion. On YouTube, his most recent video garnered 500 views in the past 24 hours but on Dailymotion he’s sitting at only 10 views. I tried getting his video to rank in search results and the best way was to use his most recent title, which showed his YouTube video as the #2 search result while his copy on Dailymotion, with the same title, was nowhere to be found. I gave up after the 6th page of results still hadn’t yielded a single video from Dailymotion.
While YouTube does have a lock on audiences, there is certainly something to be said for search. With Dailymotion and YouTube founded in the same year, there is a huge discrepancy in viewership. Although Google has been cleared of wrongdoing and claims not to skew results in their favor, there is no denying that Google search results played a huge role in getting YouTube to where it is today.