Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Video Search Engines And Online Video Directories: A Mini-Guide

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Video search engines and online video directories allow for the indexing, cataloguing and searching of as large a quantity (or as specific a theme - this is yet to come) of video and digital film material as it is possible for them to find on the Internet. This is a mini-guide to the best resources in this area.

Photo credit: Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo

Given the explosion of online video started in 2006, video search engines and online video directories play an increasingly important role both for end users trying to find specific video content as well as for marketers, researchers and educators, who while having very distinct missions to accomplish, could all greatly benefit from a truly efficient facility that finds them the video content they are looking for, no matter where that has been archived, stored or uploaded.

But also for normal Internet users the need to be able to find that video needle in that youtube haystack would mean lots and lots more of very passionate eyeballs getting into intensive use of this new all-pull video distribution system.

This is why video search engines and online video directories are so important and why I devote this open mini-guide to provide you with a one-stop reference point to find some of the best and most useful tools as they will keep appearing on this front.

A few words of introduction for those of you unfamiliar with this type of technologies.

Video search engines - just like Google - index specifically all videos available online, independently from the source. On the other hand, video directories differentiate themselves from video search engines because they list videos according to specific categories (such as "entertainment", "sport", "fun", etc.)

Some video search engines and video directories automatically detect and index the videos published online, while others also allow you to directly inform them of the existence of a video. There are also several video search engines that let you upload your videos, just like you can do on video sharing sites.

However, it is important to distinguish between video search engines and video sharing sites, since the might appear very similar at first glance. All video sharing site feature a search box on their homepage, but they allow users to search only within the video sharing site directory, and not elsewhere. On the other hand, video search engines collect material from multiple sources, included the above mentioned video sharing sites.

Several video search engines and video directories let users review, rate, recommend, categorize, and "tag" the videos that they watch. These functions facilitate the cataloguing and organizazion of content so that users can easily discover new videos based on other users' recommendations.

There are many video search engines and video directories to choose from. Some specialize in independent content such as short films and videoblogs, while others focus on a variety of commercial content such as movie trailers, music videos, news and TV shows.

In this mini-guide I have grouped and reviewed for you the most popular video search engines and directories available online. Characterizing traits that helped me analyzing them are:

  1. Advanced search options: the capability to refine searches according to specific information we have.
  2. Search results display: the way results are shown to the user. This may include the capability to visualize either thumbnails or preview of the videos and to change the appearance of the results page.
  3. Rating and comments support: the possibility for users to rate, recommend and review the videos they watch.
  4. Video submission: the procedure that videomakers need to follow when they want their videos to be indexed and appear in search results.

Please note that this mini-guide is an overview of video search engines and video directories and in no ways intends to represent a complete resource. You are very welcome to suggest new inclusions or corrections anytime by using the Comments section to be found at the end of this mini-guide.

Photo credit: Blinkx

Video Search Engines

PureVideo is a video search engine that enables you to search within the most popular video directories and video sharing sites available in the Web. PureVideo features up to six channels and each channel contains about six source sites. PureVideo also provides a celebrities video directory, with all the videos related to famous people. Other features include the possibility to search videos by name and the lists of Top Drug and Medical Video Searches and Top Celebrity Video Searches. Every search result given by PureVideo has its own RSS feed and you can track its status through any feed readers.

How to submit your video: Users of PureVideo are allowed to submit links or RSS feeds to their favorite videos and they can also upload their own videos, which will be hosted by PureVideo itself.

Rating and comments: PureVideo does not support rating and comments.


SearchVideo is a video search engine and directory created by AOL that lets you search for videos by categories and relevance. Users can also search within specific video channels like MySpace and YouTube. SearchVideo classifies videos according to 10 general categories and one of its most useful features is the one that allows users to filter videos by cost, length, quality and format.

How to submit your video: SearchVideo lets users submit RSS feeds of their favorite videos and upload their own videos, which will be hosted by AOL for free (you will be requested to enter your AOL screen name in order to upload your videos).

Rating and comments: SearchVideo allows rating and comments.


Singingfish is a video and audio search engine which lets you perform searches within hundreds of online video channels and video sharing sites. Users of Singingfish are allowed to search videos by format and by length and also refine searches by category. Additionally, it is possible to activate a safe search filter in order to block adult content from being displayed. Users of Singingfish can also save search results and email them to whomever they want.

How to submit your video: You can submit your site using the form on Singingfish site. Singingfish indexes the following formats: Real, Windows Media, QuickTime, Flash, AVI, MPEG and mp3.

Rating and comments: SingingFish does not support rating and comments.


Search For Video
Search For Video is a search engine and video directory that displays results from hundreds of video channels. Additionally, users can search within the Video Podcast directory and browse results by category. Search For Video also provides an add-on for Firefox, which lets you search for any videos within the popular browser and webmasters can embed Search For Video within their websites.

How to submit your video: This service allows video publishers from around the Web to freely promote their content by submitting the RSS feeds of their videos.

Rating and comments: Search For Video does not support rating and comments.


Yahoo! Video Search
Yahoo! has a video search engine that gathers videos from Yahoo! directory and from many other online sources. It is possible to filter videos according to their format, size and duration and you can also sort results by tags. The advanced search options also allow you to search within specific domains or sites.

How to submit your video: Users with a Yahoo! ID can upload their own videos and be featured in the search results.

Rating and comments: Yahoo! Video supports rating.


Blinkx is a video search engine that lets you perform searches within the most popular video networks, such as CBS, Reuters and CNN (excluding the channels that feature user generated content). Users can search for content, create personal TV channels that automatically splice relevant content together and even use the download feature to automatically download content to mobile devices. Blinkx features a safe search filter and a dynamic homepage displaying previews of the most popular videos.

How to submit your video: If you have video content on your website or blog, you can use this form to submit it to Blinkx.

Rating and comments: Blinkx does not support rating and comments.


AltaVista Video Search
The video search feature of the popular search engine AltaVista is a tool that enables you to search within hundreds of video channels, both for media publishers content and user-generated content. Users can search videos by format and duration: below every item found, AltaVista displays the source, the size and the total duration of the video. By clicking on the "more info" link, users can also read a description of each video before watching it.

How to submit your video: You can submit your site to AltaVista and be included in the video directory.

Rating and comments: AltaVista Video Search does not support rating and comments.


TubeSurf is a video search engine that gathers results from popular video directories, such as YouTube, Yahoo! Video, MySpace and Google Video. TubeSurf search engine is powered by Google and the results are displayed without any previews of the videos and no additional information about their size, format and duration. TubeSurf provides an add-on for Mozilla Firefox that lets you search for videos within your browser.

How to submit your video: TubeSurf does not allow direct submission of websites to its database.

Rating and comments: TubeSurf does not support rating and comments.


AOL Video Search
AOL Video Search is a search engine and video directory that displays content from the most important media channels and popular video communities. The search results page shows a thumbnail of the video with details about the source channel, duration, date of publishing and the category. Users can change the skin of the search results page and choose between a detailed list with preview, a grid and a simple list. A safe search filter is available in case of necessity.

How to submit your video: If you want to submit your own videos you first need to register to AOL. After completing your registration, you will be able to upload your videos.

Rating and comments: AOL Video Search supports rating.


Brightcove is a video directory that gathers videos from the most important online media channels. Its internal search engine is powered by AOL and the videos are classified by category. The search results page shows a thumbnail of the videos with a brief description and duration of the clips. All the videos are viewed inside the Brightcove video player.

How to submit your video: This service does not allow users to submit URLs and RSS feeds that point to videos published elsewhere.

Rating and comments: BrightCove does not support rating and comments.


ClipRoller is a video search engine that lets you search that across popular video sites, such as: YouTube, Metacafe, Revver, Brightcove, iFilm and more. As you continue to log-in and search for videos, ClipRoller learns your preferences and delivers content you like to watch. ClipRoller also allows you to easily syndicate a video to any other web space you like. One code snippet is provided for direct access from clicking through an email or instant message box. The other code snippet allows you to completely integrate the content into another website page, like My Space, Facebook, Friendster, etc. You can also download the ClipRoller ticker to search for your favorite videos right from your desktop.

How to submit your video: ClipRoller does not allow direct submission of websites to its database.

Rating and comments: ClipRoller does not support rating and comments.


Pixsy is a video search engine that lets users search content across dozens of video sites. Users are allowed to save searches and single videos that they might want to watch again. Pixsy displays a description of the content of each video (whenever it is available) and lets you email the search results to your friends.

How to submit your video: Pixsy does not allow direct submission of websites to its database.

Rating and comments: Pixsy does not support rating and comments.


AlltheWeb Video
AlltheWeb Video is a search engine that indexes videos from the most popular video sharing sites. The search results page gives you information about the length, file format, URL and size of the videos and also displays a thumbnail nearby each item. Search results on AlltheWeb Video are powered by Yahoo!.

How to submit your video: If you are interested in submitting your site to be considered for free inclusion in the Yahoo! Search index, click here (Yahoo! registration required).

Rating and comments: AlltheWeb Video does not support rating and comments.


ScoopVid is a search engine specialized in video search across the most important video directories. ScoopVid displays many information in the search results page, such as video quality, publisher, tags and views. Each video is categorized and users can get RSS feeds for any search. A thumbnail of the video is provided nearby each item.

How to submit your video: You can't submit a link to your video but it is possible to upload videos on Xoinks. Then your video will be automatically indexed by ScoopVid.

Rating and comments: ScoopVid supports rating and comments by registered users.


Vdoogle is a search engine that searches for videos from popular video sharing websites like YouTube, Google Videos, Metacafe, Bolt, Veoh and many others. By using a Google-based search engine, Vdoogle provides search results that contain the title of the video, a short description and a link to its location in the Web.

How to submit your video: Vdoogle does not allow direct submission of videos.

Rating and comments: Vdoogle does not support rating and comments.


Clipta is a video search engine that helps you find your favorite videos and also upload and redistribute your own content over the Web. Clipta rewards you with a monetary value depending on how many times your videos have been watched. A section of the service is specifically meant to deliver fresh video news. Videos hosted on Clipta can be also browsed by categories, groups, or ratings.

How to submit your video: Just go to the Upload section of Clipta and submit your videos to the service. Your upload videos are hosted by Clipta and can be redistributed on any blog or web page by pasting the relevant HTML code.

Rating and comments: Clipta supports both ratings and comments.



Video Directories

The Open Video Project
The Open Video Project is a searchable video directory that collects and makes available a repository of digitized video content for the digital video, multimedia retrieval, digital library, and other research communities. The Open Video Project features very important video collections from universities and international institutions about any kind of topics. You can search and browse videos by collection, category, duration, color and sound. All the videos are downloadable and protected by a Creative Commons license.

How to submit your video: The Open Video Project accepts contributions from organizations and single individuals.

Rating and comments: The Open Video Project does not support rating and comments.


The Internet Movie Archive
The Internet Movie Archive is one of the largest video directories available on the Web, which collects movies, films, and videos. This collection contains thousands of videos which range from classic full-length movies, daily alternative news broadcasts, to user-uploaded videos of every genre. Every searched item has its own description page with information about the producer, length, size, duration and also the reviews written by the users. All the videos are downloadable and protected by a Creative Commons license.

How to submit your video: You can submit your videos and contribute to the growth of the Internet Movie Archive by registering to the website.

Rating and comments: The Internet Movie Archive allows viewers to comment each video.



Special mentions: Google Video and YouTube

Google Video and YouTube are not video search engines and open video directories, since they are video sharing sites and they only provide video material that is stored inside their private databases. However, the amount of video material that these two video sharing sites provide to search engines and directories is so large that the largest percentage of video content available online comes from these sources.

Google Video
Google Video is one of the largest video sharing sites and keeps on growing everyday thanks to the contribution of thousands of users. Google Video home page displays categories, popular videos and random picks. Or you can simply enter keywords and go. The results page displays a still image from the video along with program and episode name, along with the date, time and length of the broadcast. The triangle icon is the play button that lets you watch a 10 second video snippet. Google Video has recently started including YouTube videos in the search results.

How to submit your video: You need to open a Google account to upload your video. Uploading videos to Google requires using their Uploader software. Submission of links that lead to videos published on other websites is not allowed.

Rating and comments: Google Video allows viewers to reate each video.


YouTube is perhaps the most popular video sharing site on the Web. You can search its database of videos by category or keyword search. When doing a search for videos, 3 thumbnails appear along with the title, description, rating, and link to the video. YouTube allows users to rate videos, post comments, and add videos to a "favorites" collection. Within the YouTube community, users can also join a number of like-minded groups. Recently acquired by Google, we can expect to see some changes in the service over the coming months.

How to submit your video: Submit your videos to YouTube. You must sign up before you can upload videos and contribute to the community.

Rating and comments: YouTube allows viewers to comment and rate each video.



Related Video Mini-Guides


Robin Good and Livia Iacolare -
Readers' Comments    
2012-03-08 03:31:38


Thanks for the list and descriptions. Here is a good videos search engine:
It has around 20 videos search engines listed with search tabs integrated. A great videos search tool.

2011-01-14 20:34:08


Thanks for the list. :) I just recently put up It a wrapper around YouTube with focus on visual search.


2009-03-10 12:47:25


I always use LoomTV for video search. It has a nice and slick interface and it's possible to create own playlists from the videos you have searched for.

Check it out:

2008-05-14 14:04:10



I would like to inform, that FilesTube start new video search engine -

2008-03-11 22:10:46

Video Double Search

We've organized a video and movie site guide to facilitate faster search results and browsing most of the more popular sites.

For your immediate review:

Free full-length movies online

Movies-on-demand (paid)

As we continue to build out the directory, more sites are added daily - currently we index about 885+ videomedia websites for 24 distinct categories.

If you know of any good video sites, drop us a message and we'll check 'em out.



2007-10-01 18:32:42


Check out this technical and pc related video site,

2007-09-11 12:31:47


I'd also recommend since it searches most of the video search engines mentioned.

2007-09-08 14:05:15

chad search Utube, Google videos, myspace, and a just about ever other video & news site out there it even has a lot
of helpful features to help find what you looking for.

2007-07-26 05:13:16

John Harleston

Cameraclips seems like a great idea. Users can upload video then cut and paste the code into online auctions, i suppose this means you could record from your mobile phone then upload it to which can be put on your auctions, it hosts photos too. I like the idea, not many people are using it right now by the look of it.

2007-07-23 02:22:58

John Smith

Check this site.I found four times the amount of content on a single search compare to Google video, Blinkx etc...

and also I like their VeZoomPipe that was very good.

2007-06-28 20:57:18

Paulie W

No ClipBlast? What is your criteria? ClipBlast indexes all of the web for video and makes it simple to get at. Shocking not to include

2007-05-22 08:57:50

Chris Tew

Despite all of these new video search engines appearing everywhere it is the video portals themselves that are seeing all the traffic, with the video search engines lagging behind:

2007-02-25 09:48:11


Look at this one, I hope it will rule soon

2007-02-19 07:06:23


Newly launched video search:

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, January 25 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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