September 13, 2005 8:00 PM PDT

Start-up Truveo enters video search field

A California start-up is set to launch a beta of a new video search engine on Wednesday that looks for content by analyzing visual characteristics of a Web page rather than just text.

Truveo claims that its Visual Crawler technology produces more comprehensive and more up-to-date video search results than competitors.

"Other video search engines look for text within Web pages, but many sites don't have text associated with video," said Tim Tuttle, co-founder and chief executive of Burlingame, Calif.-based Truveo. "Many (videos) are script-generated, use plug-ins or are assembled by files executed in the background by the browser and which regular (video) crawlers" cannot always detect.

The company has been crawling the Web for video for about two months and has indexed more content than rival services, Tuttle said. He declined to say how many content sources are in its index.

The Web site lets users compare results for specific searches from Yahoo and Google. For example, a search on "John Roberts" on Truveo located 274 results, with video at the top from the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation hearings on sites including The New York Times, Yahoo News and others.

The same search on Yahoo uncovered 129 results, with a range of video from news broadcasts, many of which mentioned Roberts but were not focused on him.

Using Google, four results were returned, three completely unrelated to John Roberts, when quotation marks were not used to specify an exact phrase, and only one result related to him when quotation marks were used.

Blinkx.com video search turned up about 50 results, from sources like CNN, MSNBC and many from podcasts.

Truveo will make money from ads that run alongside search results, as well as by licensing its search listings to other destination sites, Tuttle said.

 

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