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How Google Ranks Videos 69

Posted by Zonk
from the hello-kate-monster dept.
Nirnimesh writes "Google reveals their ranking system for videos on the official blog. The system lists videos according to their country-wide popularity. From the article: 'We use algorithms to identify videos that are suddenly becoming popular, and then rank them based on how popular they are -- and how suddenly they became popular. We've been using this list internally, and now it's ready to share with you, so check it out. Right now this feature highlights videos from close to 40 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and New Zealand, to name a few.'"
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How Google Ranks Videos

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  • No pigeons? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:41PM (#15510163) Homepage Journal
    And I was so sure they were using a team of trained pigeons...
  • How hard could it possibly be to merely take object X's statistics page, and compare the n unique pagehits versus every other one?
    • by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@NospaM.gmail.com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:02PM (#15510389)
      That's not hard. That's also not what they do, apparently. They actually try to detect popular videos before they are popular. That way a current video gets a higher rank than an old fad that got 2 billion downloads over the years. Think measuring acceleration instead of speed. That's probably not very hard, either. But the resulting page [google.com] is still pretty cool.
      • That way a current video gets a higher rank than an old fad that got 2 billion downloads over the years.

        The why is "The MAC Gamer" [google.com] in 4th place? Because Google does not assess the content of the video. If I re-upload "an old fad that got 2 billion downloads over the years", Google does not know that it's old and if a lot of people see it, Google thinks that it's some hot new video.

        • That's true. Hard to find a way around that. I suppose that a video that really is hot and new will have a different download character - exponential growth, maybe - than an old hot video, which assumedly would have a constant, semi-high number of downloads. Maybe they work it out that way, maybe they don't.
  • Barbie Girl (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rogerramrod (947312) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:49PM (#15510193)
    I don't think the algorithm is quite ready for prime time yet,
    seeing that currently the most popular video on Google is of a chubby nerdy tranvestite playbacking a song of Aqua
    • by TadZimas (921646)
      You obviously haven't been on the internet long enough.
      Chubby nerdy tranvestites ARE the most popular thing on the internet.
      Hands down.
      Followed with Songs by Aqua at a distant second.
    • So I click to see the movers for Czech Republic and at this very moment there are no less than 32 videos (from 37) which have the term "barbie girl" in their title... WTF!?
    • no kidding, yet another recipe and ranking page built as a feedback loop. people download the top thing on the list to see what the hell other people liked about it. until they can include in their ranking criteria the number of people that stopped the download 20 seconds into the video, it won't really be a list of "things that people liked the most" but instead the "things that people thought they might like the most"
    • Not just that, if you look through the pages there are about 20 videos in them that are all people singing this song. WTF?
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:51PM (#15510198) Homepage Journal
    We use algorithms to identify videos that are suddenly becoming popular, and then rank them based on how popular they are -- and how suddenly they became popular.

    Seriously, this isn't all that cool (one might even say lame) even for news from Google. Even a simple (video_rank = num_video_views where num_video_views >threshold) would work from what I read from the description.

    But then, they just posted it on their blog, it's the "blogosphere" that blows/hypes it out of proportion.

    • Actually, it's a whole lot more complicated and interesting than you think. The idea is that videos which have been steadily popular for a long time shouldn't show up, but videos which have become popular recently should. So, you don't see the same old boring videos every day like you do with the top 100 list.
      • Ahhhh, so you times it all by 1/How_long_has_this_been_around ?
      • Yes, that's what's really cool, because i've seen my nephew use certain video sites before he just does a quick google search, loads the same video, Every time. he shows it to everyone, and loads it over and over again. just last weekend he loaded the same video 12 times in one day by my count. a couple of the people he showed liked it, but for the most part they were bored of it quickly.

        because there are a lot of people who act like that the 'top 100' lists usually become the stagnant tripe that a handful
  • by micheas (231635) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:55PM (#15510213) Homepage Journal
    If you look at what google publishes about pagerank and compare what they say with the search results returned by google.com you will notice discrepencies.

    For example google claims that they do not return urls that contain '&id=' but that is clearly not the case. (Joomla and Mambo sites without seo enabled would have substantially fewer pages returned than they do if this was the case.)

    I have come to feel that I can trust google about like I can trust my own contries military. (after independent verifiaction, and I need some reason to believe second source is not compromised.) But there are gems in the statements so I read them and after I am done reading I have more questions than before.

    This looks like a small glimps into one component of pagerank. But the article is pretty light on substance.
  • by baadger (764884) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:58PM (#15510227)
    So they rank video's by how _suddenly_ they become popular...and we go an put it up for a Slashdotting. Good luck unraveling them stats Googlers.
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    The algorithm doesn't seem to be quite ready, as I'm not really pleased by the rank of some videos. Anyway, the movers top list seem to work fine, I'm seeing many World Cup videos :)
  • I'm flabergasted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @04:31PM (#15510310)
    You know, maybe it's not Google who hypes this up. Maybe they just posted it in a blog and the community took it up.

    Every single little thing Google does, no matter how trivial, is reported to take down Microsoft and take over the world.

    But COME ON, is this really worth an article on Slashdot:

    [we] rank them based on how popular they are

    Shit they better patent it before someone else figures it out!
    It's only literally every site with plenty of items that can be sorted based on popularity.
    • But COME ON, is this really worth an article on Slashdot?

      We are geeks. We have seen Google come from nothing to the best piece of real estate on the web. Google has changed our vocabulary. A new verb is now in it, called "google". Kinda like the "slashdot effect" and others.

      I mean, check out what is "news" to the rest of the world -- http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=paris+h ilton&btnG=Search+News [google.com]

      A dumb blond wrecking her car...
      • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:25PM (#15510439)
        We are geeks... I mean, check out what is "news" to the rest of the world. A dumb blond wrecking her car...

        I find this especially ironic. People care about Paris Hilton's car crash not because car crashes are particularly rare, but because Paris Hilton is really popular.

        And you're reasoning that Google ordering items by popularity is very important, not because ordering by popularity is particularly rare, but because Google is really popular.

        But you can always find comfort in the idea that we're "the geeks" and "the rest of the world" is just plain dumb and undeserving attention.
        • Does anyone else find it humorous that it was through this article that I learned that Paris Hilton was in a car crash? ::Colz Grigor
        • I find this especially ironic. People care about Paris Hilton's car crash not because car crashes are particularly rare, but because Paris Hilton is really popular.

          Its not ironic. All popular people are popular simply because they are popular.

          • Its not ironic. All popular people are popular simply because they are popular.

            This is not the thing I'm saying is ironic. Read the whole post.
        • I find this especially ironic. People care about Paris Hilton's car crash not because car crashes are particularly rare, but because Paris Hilton is really popular.
          And you're reasoning that Google ordering items by popularity is very important, not because ordering by popularity is particularly rare, but because Google is really popular.


          1- Like rain on a wedding day.

          2- For crying out loud, WHY is google popular VS why is the dumb blonde popular? THAT is the freaking difference.

          Google is popular because it w
      • I guess geeks are not so different from teens - instead of worshipping the newest pop star and everything little thing he/she does, we worship websites and every little thing they do.

        But why? I hate to say it, but I almost understand the teens better than I do my fellow geeks.
  • I realize it may be blasphemy to discuss digg on /. but what the hell- it's sat afternoon and I'm already 25% drunk.

    Isn't this is exactly how Digg assigns stories to the home page? Not based on number of diggs, but rather, how quickly an item was dugg.

    • ... The answer is "No." To make a very weak analogy, Digg's "Dugg Stories" are much like Slashdot's "Submitted stories." The more it's mentioned, the higher rank it gets, and thus the better chance of it being put on the front page. (Which is what most story posters here on /. are pissy about. We post a story first, it has to have many other people submit it, then the editors decide if it's worthy enough, and when it *IS* posted, the original poster of the story is not even mentioned. But I guess I can't co
      • I use both sites too (same sn), and I fear you may be mistaken.

        Look at digg [digg.com] right now: story #1 has 112 diggs, story #10 has 486 diggs. It must be using something else to rank. I have heard other diggers claim it was based on time, but I haven't actually seen anything to confirm this anywhere.

        Re: submission. Don't let it bite yer ass. I'm 0 for 2 myself, and both stories have ended up on here anyway (just with a *ahem* better *idontthinkso* summary).

        Ok, ok...no more "grousing". ;-)

        • Umm... Things get so many "Diggs" because people actively click on it to get it rated. Slashdot does NOT have this type of feature available to the general public on this site, so there is no way in heck you're gonna compare this to digg in this respect.

  • by born_to_live_forever (228372) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @04:53PM (#15510370) Homepage
    I'm from Denmark, so naturally my first thought was to see which vids were considered most popular in Denmark, according to Google. The results were disheartening, embarrassing, but far from surprising.

    Crazy Frog.

    Dozens and dozens of crappy variations of a done-to-death meme.

    Kill me now, and get it over with.

  • Loose Change (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The most interesting thing about the Google Video top 100 has been Loose Change [google.com]. For weeks it has been the only full length film that isn't short a very short titillation clip (eg Webcam Girls Go Wild) or dubious humour clips (eg funny clips baby fart) that has been in the top 20.

    Loose Change is the most popular 9/11 "conspiracy theory" film, no doubt due to its slick graphics, soundtrack and editing -- for an amateur movie it is impressive. However it's not the most accurate movie of its type -- see the

  • It would seem to me the most popular videos will continue to become more popular...because everyone is going to click on the #1 ranked video, including all of these slashdotters.
  • This doesnt work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HaMMeReD3 (891549)
    There needs to be some form of user feedback, clickthroughs do not define good, just popular. People accidently watch all kinds of crap, they also should completely discount any random videos people pick.

    There should be some form of rating on the videos as well so the people subjected to them can say if they suck or not, cause most of them suck.
  • .. and check out the upcoming artices on Slashdot in the next few days:

    How Google Makes Thumbnails: by scaling the images down

    How Google Displays Links: by using the anchor tag

    How Google News Finds News: by scanning news sites

    How Does Google Make You Feel Lucky: by showing you the first match
  • This is timely, since I was discussing on another board the videos that google will promptly delete because they threaten the google mindset. One good example is from the TV Series: "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" (Season 3, Episode 9) Gun Control.

    Put this video up, and watch it be pulled down for "violence" or "copyright infringement", never mind that the show is not about violence, but about your rights under the Second Amendment, and never mind that Google is full of videos which are "copyright infringin

  • The article says they use "algorithms" to tell when a video is becoming popular. Anyone have any guesses as to what these algorithms might be?

    I'm serious, I would really like to be able to use algorithms like that
  • by Hobobo (231526)
    Notice how all the Soccer/Football videos are popular in the US. That's because everyone else in the entire world has seen those clips a million times already!
    • Yeah, its embarrassing - especially with Arena bowl XX going on this weekend. Real football clips would get better rankings if the algorithms were correct.
  • Wow... Talk about a chaotic feedback system. Google makes videos popular by measuring how popular they are...

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