Thumbnails are becoming pervasive on search results pages of Google, Ask, Yahoo! and on many customized search pages. Thumbnails had been mostly the domain of image search — look up a celebrity under the image category and there’s the photo. 

Well, it turns out that thumbnails have become a powerful way to drive traffic to video clips. This is clearly demonstrated by Google Video’s recent introduction of related thumnails across the top of video player pages.

YouTube has just added some very cool thumbnails to its pages — these images expand with a rollover of the curser.

Pixsy is a San Francisco-based start-up that has built a business around searching and organizing image thumbnails. It has found that this technology works well with video.  Now, about half of the company’s indexed images are from videos. 

This make a lot of sense.  After all, many video sharing sites generate thumbnail images. Moreover, Pixsy creates millions of thumbnails. The images are found and indexed by organizing metadata, not through the more exotic methods of audio or image recognition.

Chase Norlin, CEO, was at the Beet.TV studios in steamy Manhattan this week. We spoke about thumbnails and his business. The company is not a portal, but is a provider of video and image search services to many companies. He just announced an agreement to put the Pixsy utility on eZanga. Chase says he wants his company to be the "Google of Thumbnails".

Not sure about that, but these little images are becoming a huge business.

Google Won’t Search Podcasts Until Next Year

Podcasts and videopodcasts files are distributed in sort of a "hidden" universe.  One impedement to growth of the medium has been the inability of Google to search the content since the files are not "crawled."  Looks like Google won’t be crawling podcasts until next year.  Check out this report on Marissa Mayer and plans at Google for various realms of search including video.  Speaking of hidden videos, I wonder when and how all the P2P content will be searched?  Search is how folks find stuff. 

— Andy Plesser

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