Google Testing Comment Search On YouTube

Though the level of discourse in YouTube comments will never win awards, Google appears to be quietly testing a comment search feature. You won’t find it anywhere obvious in the YouTube interface — not on a video page, not even in Advanced Search. It’s available at this URL (you can change the query at the end):

YouTube Comment Search (test)

As ReadWriteWeb points out, this actually could be a valuable monitoring tool for companies, individuals, artists, and other celebrities that are the subject of a lot of YouTube videos and comments. There’s even a real-time element at work: Updates are pushed out as new comments are indexed, and YouTube lists a handful of “trending topics” from user comments.

But this appears to be very much a beta project. To test the comment search, I grabbed an exact snippet of text from a comment that was posted a week ago on one of my own videos. Comment search found no matching results:

YouTube Comment Search - no results

Perhaps this is one reason why comment search isn’t yet part of the main YouTube interface.

Update: A YouTube product manager emailed this update regarding the comment above not appearing in comment search: “We return comment results from the past seven days and it looks like your U2 comment was just on the lip of that period.”

Update, October 19: According to this YouTube blog post, comment search has been moved into Test Tube, the experimental lab area of YouTube.

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Google: YouTube & Video


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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