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April 24, 2008

YouTube Suggest

The always surprising video sharing service acquired by Google in October 2006 is constantly improving its search features and borrows many tricks from its parent company. The latest enhancement is an auto-complete feature that shows query suggestions as you start typing characters in the search box. You'll notice the obvious similarity between this feature and Google Suggest, a project that is about to finally graduate from Google Labs. YouTube Suggest has its own list of queries obtained from YouTube users, so it should offer decent suggestions.

"By suggesting more refined searches up front, Google Suggest can make your searches more convenient and efficient by keeping you from having to reformulate your query. Google Suggest might offer suggestions that you will find novel or intriguing," explains Google in an interesting FAQ.


The feature is enabled by default, but you can disable it in the "Settings". For now, YouTube Suggest seems to be live only for international sites like YouTube UK and only if you search from the homepage, but it should be available at YouTube's main site in the near future.

To get the suggestions, YouTube uses this simple JSON call:

http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search? hl=en&ds=yt&json=t&jsonp=callbackfunction&q=QUERY

where ds=yt defines the search's scope (YouTube), while q=QUERY includes the characters typed by the user. A similar URL is used by Google News to suggest news sources in advanced search, so we can expect an API for query suggestions:

http://news.google.com/complete/search? hl=en&ds=ns&js=true&q=QUERY

This URL works as well:

http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search? hl=en&ds=ns&json=t&jsonp=callbackfunction&q=QUERY


YouTube constantly experiments with new features and most of them are related to the way people navigate the site or discover new videos. A recent experiment added a search box below the list of related videos so that people can search and see the search results while watching a video. The only problem was that you couldn't add the results to the Quicklist in order to build dynamic playlists.

Update (May 16): YouTube Suggest is now live at youtube.com.

30 comments:

  1. This probably isn't news, but I noticed that Wikipedia has added a Suggest feature to their search box. At least for the English version in the sidebar. Although I think it is suggesting exact page matches, as opposed to listing searches and the number of pages matching.

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  2. And in true Wikipedia spirit, the suggestions are poor. They sort the page titles that start with your characters alphabetically.

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  3. It's the wikipedia style. They offer each topic the same level of visibility.

    Simone

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  4. What's the purpose of an auto-complete feature if it doesn't have some logic behind it? When I type "yah" in Wikipedia's search box, the suggestions are: "Yah", "Yah Bak", "Yah Kai", "Yah Lin Trie", "Yah mater", "Yah Mo B There", but not "Yahoo", which is the obvious suggestion. Displaying some topics alphabetically doesn't help anyone, especially if you have millions of topics.

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  5. You say Youtube uses user's data to suggest search queries.

    Does this mean that my search queries in Youtube will become visible to others? Or the only popular ones?

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  6. All these search bars suck, they are for morons only! Must be why the are gaining ground so fast!

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  7. "Settings" does not shows!!! how do i erase or disable the youtube's suggest feature??

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  8. there is no settings nere the search box

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  9. Better remove the drop down of suggestion query in google videos and youtube

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  10. YouTube tweaked the interface. You can disable suggestions by clicking on "advanced" and unchecking "Display query suggestions as I type". Then click on "close" and refresh the page.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There is no advanced setting near the youtube search box. Any more ideas

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  12. Just perform a search and you'll see a link titled "advanced options".

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  13. you tube should not display videos I cannot watch in my country(Canada), unless there is an option that I want to see what videos I cannot watch(to see what my country or other users are restricting)

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  14. Still cannot find the advances settings near the youtube search box. Any more ideas

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  15. Just perform a search on YouTube and you'll see a link titled "advanced options" below the search box.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cute+cats

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  16. i like it google youtube,because it is to much for watch the any video.
    google youtube is the best then the other .
    may be it is very good and i like it.

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  17. Which clip from Youtube do you suggest for exercising on a stationnary bicycle?
    I plan to do some workout (stationary bicycle) and I'd like to know about some good videos (short clips) I could listen to while training, from Youtube or another source. (I'll make a montage.)

    For example, I was thinking about the "Rocky IV training sequence", or "What a feeling" from the Flashdance movie...

    What do you suggest?

    Thank you!

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  18. I find the function useless and most of the suggestions tasteless and disturbing. I would happily send a year's worth of lapdancers to whoever Youtube employee who rids us of the abominable Search Suggestions.

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  19. why they didn't let us to disable YouTube's search suggestion????

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  20. Because of the far-left liberal socialist views of the people in charge at google and youtube it's one-size-fits-all youtube search suggestions in-your-face and no option to turn it off. Very telling of the mentality at that place.

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  21. no way to turn of youtube search suggestions

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  22. I like the search suggestions. There are a few different times where the suggestions are a bit inappropriate and they should censor these ones out of the results.

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  23. What's with the youtube search suggestions? I can't disable it. It overrides my browser settings. That's not cool. Don't muck with my machine, youtube. The only alternative is that I stop visiting youtube.

    Yeah, that's it. I'm going to use other video websites from now on. You might be big, youtube, but to me you're just another website.

    Boycott youtube.

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  24. To disable Youtube auto-suggest annoyance
    and privacy leak simply block
    suggestqueries.google.com

    Either by each browser.
    And/Or for the whole computer, the hosts file.
    And/Or for the whole LAN, using Privoxy.

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  25. I like the YouTube Suggest. Sometimes you know you can find a popular video like that instead of having to search multiple times.

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  26. I love that youtube put the suggestion option on. I use it when I'm not 100% sure on what I want to search.

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  27. I love that youtube put the suggestion option on. I use it when I'm not 100% sure on what I want to search.

    Mate do you no what you are talking about??

    ReplyDelete
  28. doesn't work anymore. Is there another url to request?


    Message:

    400. That’s an error.

    Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request. That’s all we know.

    ReplyDelete
  29. got it working with this url instead:

    http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?ds=yt&output=toolbar&hl=de&q=QUERY

    ReplyDelete
  30. Same issue here : 400 malformed or illegal request

    Any news/update about this ?

    ReplyDelete