Multimedia Search Engines

Anand Ramchandran
For an industry which literally lives off both the display of images and videos, and traffic from search engines, we're all very complacent about the buzz around image and video search engines. In this article, we'll take a look at the developments in this area, and what effect it's likely to have on the adult industry.

A short summary from Google Image Search reveals that "Google's Image Search is the most comprehensive on the Web, with more than 880 million images indexed and available for viewing... The results you see with this feature may contain mature content. Google analyzes the text on the page adjacent to the image, the image caption and dozens of other factors to determine the image content. Google also uses sophisticated algorithms to remove duplicates and ensure that the highest quality images are presented first in your results."

You and me are selling pictures and videos to make a living. Google has 880 million images in it's database, and other image search engines aren't that far behind - and you expect users to come to your Website through a search engine, when the search engine itself has millions of images?

Video Search
I went to Altavista's Video Search Engine and typed in pornstar. It spewed out 5,386 results with thumbs and links. Even though some of the links were automatically redirected to paysites and sponsors, for the most part, the results were pretty relevant and obviously a very good source of traffic. But what if the engines started caching the videos locally, as they have done to the images?

Here's what Google co-founder Sergey Brin had to say about it at the world Economic Forum at Davos:

Q: Do you see delivering videos eventually?

Brin: I'm sure we will eventually have them. You know the issue of video, and this is actually something that deserves media attention. It doesn't work very well. There are these fights between different standards. Like what are the odds if you have a video file, it's actually going to play [on your software]?

Q: Just download all the players.

Brin: I don't know. I had the situation you had. If you download all the players, it is a lot of effort. Different computers don't all have the latest version of Media Player and Real and QuickTime and all the way to Kodak... But they serve over at each other in funny ways. You end up with the wrong thing playing. So I think there is a real issue. And even if you do have the right player it's really slow. Like the buffer [disruptions].

Q: It's not just the question of technology and development and bandwidth.

Brin: Yeah, so when it becomes a good experience I think it will work better. There is also just not that much of it.

What this means is that it's coming soon. When the search engines have their own cache of your images and videos, where does that leave you?

Legal Viewpoint
Just displaying a warning that these images are copyrighted and that we cannot allow you to use them does not take away the fact that the image SE's are displaying images from Websites which normally would have a lawyer breathing down your neck, if you were to pull the same stunt...

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Are we going to sleep until we see the search engines eat away our profits? Most likely. Will we be able to do something about it after the fact? Improbable. Wake up, people! ~ Anand