Dailymotion is making the claim that Google is favoring YouTube videos in its search results. This allegation has serious implications for businesses that might compete with services that Google already offers. If Google gives preference to its services over companies that offer similar services with similar content, Google could be put in a tough spot. Watch the Daily Brown Bag to learn about Dailymotion's allegations against Google favoring YouTube over its own videos, and why Google might not actually be at fault.


Hello. Welcome to the daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be talking about Dailymotion’s claim that Google is unfairly placing YouTube results in the search results over their own videos. I’m Chad Hill and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Good afternoon, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. This is kind of a fun topic today because everyone likes a good controversy. Here we have Dailymotion making some claims that Google is pushing them around a bit. Who’s Dailymotion? They’re a YouTube wannabe company, Chad, in Europe. They are, I think, the number 2 most watched online video site behind YouTube in Europe. It’s a far number 2, but they’re trying to make a run and I’m not sure if this is a PR stunt or if there’s something really here, so let’s explore this today. Do you know the basis of what these claims are that they’re making of Dailymotion in Europe?

Dailymotion's claims

Exactly. I think what they’re saying is that no one is really looking out for companies like Dailymotion who are competing against these Google subsidiaries who are being given this unfair kind of advantage in search engines or at least what they’re claiming to be an unfair advantage in the Google search results. What they’re saying is that these other companies like Google Maps and Google Local that competes with Yelp that they’re being removed from the search results in favor of Google properties and that’s not fair.

Yes. That’s an interesting backdrop right there. Companies like Google, a lot of cash in the bank, a lot of cash reserves in capital, they go out and make acquisitions such as buying YouTube because there’s a lot of synergy between the companies and they can cross-pollenate and they can increase profits. That’s the business case they use but then from the competitive landscape perspective, it could start to feel a little bit like monopolistic behavior and I think that’s the setup that Dailymotion is going for here.

You’re using your strength to go gobble up these little companies but then making the landscapes that we can’t be competitive. This is where it gets really gray when it comes to anti-monopolistic sentiment. I know the laws are quite different in Europe than they are in the US but I guess it comes down to, you think any of these claims are really based in fact or is this more just they’re trying to get some PR.

Let’s take a couple of just kind of basic SEO 101 type of components and compare YouTube and Dailymotion:

The importance of SEO in video marketing

The one that most immediately sticks out to me, and is very smart on YouTube’s part, is that every video you upload to YouTube, they actually – behind the scenes – create a transcription. While most people watching videos aren’t reading the transcription, what’s really smart about that is that creates indexable content. If you’ve ever read the actual descriptions that Google kind of tucks it away in a little tab, if you read it, it’s horrible. You would never be able to use it because they probably get every fourth or fifth word wrong, but if you think about it, over the entire YouTube video, they’re getting pretty good context of what it’s about. Content is king and especially content that the search engine can understand, and so that’s a very, very important difference between what YouTube is doing and what Dailymotion is doing.

Interesting, Chad. Do you think someone at Google Search made a phone call one day over to YouTube and said, “Hey, guys. You’d do a lot better in our search results if you had these transcriptions.” If that was the case, someone might say that’s where this becomes a little monopolistic but I think if I was Google, I’d say, “Wait a minute, that’s a really well-known fact and anyone with half a brain around SEO knows that you need words because the search algorithm can’t read videos.” I think they would claim Dailymotion should know this and should be doing this. I guess, Chad, from that standpoint, it’s the same reason we transcribe all of our videos and no one from Google called us and told us to do it, so that’s pretty interesting.

Do Google services get the upper hand?

Good point. I think the second part of that is really just whether or not—there may be something in the second point which is that obviously Google has a faster and more immediate connection to content on YouTube, so we know that especially on a big site like Dailymotion – and it is a big site even though they’re a distant 2 to YouTube – that it takes a while for Google to crawl and gather information. If you have breaking news coming out and Google has the hotline because they’re in the same data center as YouTube, again, is this foul play or is this just good business that they’re able to get that information faster and get it in their search results which is ultimately what the end user wants?

Yeah. Well this is really interesting. Everyone likes the drama, and I think when it comes to monopoly, everyone loves to cry foul really quickly. It’s really hard to say here. On the one hand, I could see that there are just some tactics they’re using. On the other hand, Chad, we know absolute power corrupts absolutely. I’ve been rather looking for some hard data that would help us sort this out. I haven’t really seen it in this story, but we’ll certainly stay tuned. If you’ve heard rumors along the way, if you have a big PPC account, Google might give you some preference or might take away a penalty. Again, there’s a lot of stories floating around the internet but I don’t know how many of them are really substantiated. In fact, very few are. It’s an interesting one. We’ll keep tracking it.

We’d like your thoughts on what you think is going on here. Do we see some antitrust or monopolistic behavior or is Dailymotion just pulling a PR stunt and getting everybody, including us here, to talk about it as the little 2-guy trying to scrape and crawl all the way to number 1. Drop us a comment. We hope you’ll subscribe to our YouTube channel and join us for another Brown Bag.