Google has been spotted showing links to web pages when people search for topics on YouTube.
This was initially discovered by a Reddit user who posted the following screenshot.
In the example above you can see how a single web page result breaks up a search results page which is otherwise full of videos.
Users can either visit the page YouTube is displaying, or click a link to conduct a search directly on Google.
There’s no indication that the website result is sponsored, which means Google is taking it upon itself to do this to assist users.
However, if comments in the r/Google subreddit are any indication, this feature will not be well received.
Here are some examples of what people think about web search results on YouTube:
“That’s really annoying. If I want a google search, I’d go to google. They should not treat users like tech illiterate people.”
“That’s just bad. Who would want such a feature? I hope it’s optional.”
“That would just ruin the YouTube experience. Haven’t they done enough with moving the comments.”
“If it only comes up when there are not many results, it’s okay I guess. But if I search something with millions of results I wanna scroll down infinitely :D”
Maybe This Feature Can Be Helpful?
For the sake of hearing from people on both sides, here are some arguments for why the feature might not be as bad as people are saying.
“I don’t know man, sometimes I’m looking for a tutorial but I want a video explaining it, and if it doesn’t exists now I have the option to do a quick Google search in the app.”
“The problem is when I need an answer to a question, and I don’t want to watch someone’s 7 minutes of filler before they answer it, and then ask us to like and subscribe in every way possible for 3 minutes.”
“I might like this. I often do a back to back search like that.”
Admittedly, there are more people advocating against the feature than for it, but there are some valid arguments on both sides.
It’s not known how widely rolled out this test is. The Reddit user who published the screenshot spotted the test in the YouTube app for Android.
For what it’s worth, I conduct a lot of searches on YouTube across my iPhone and MacBook and have yet to run into this particular test.
Clearly some people are running into it though, and Google may ramp up its testing as time goes on.
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt has an uncanny ability to make the most complex subject matter easy to understand. When he’s not ferociously following and covering the search industry, he’s busy writing SEO-friendly copy that converts.