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Yahoo video search out of test phase

Yahoo's online video search tool shifted out of its test phase Wednesday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Yahoo Inc. shifted its online video search tool out of its test phase Wednesday, marking another step in the Internet powerhouse's plan to use other media to lure more visitors to its Web site.

The Sunnyvale-based company created a separate search channel for online videos in December. The product had been running as a test, or "beta," until late Wednesday evening.

As part of the upgrade, Yahoo is indexing more video from several new media sources, including CBS News, MTV, the Discovery Channel and The Food Network.

Yahoo touts its search engine as the Internet's most comprehensive source for finding online video, although the company won't disclose the index's size.

The push into online video has been driven largely by the growing number of homes with high-speed Internet connections, said Bradley Horowitz, Yahoo's director of media and desktop search. The speedier connections make it easier to watch video online without the delays and choppy delivery commonly experienced on dial-up connections.

The video clips available at include movie previews, excerpts from previously broadcast television shows as well as original content.

Yahoo is counting on video search to give it an advantage over Google Inc., which runs the most popular search engine on the Internet. Google processes about 47 percent of the online searches in the United States, leaving Yahoo a distant second with 21 percent of the market, according to the most recent statistics from Nielsen/NetRatings.

"We want to be the place to go whenever people are trying to find online video," Horowitz said.

Google is testing an online video guide that relies on an index of closed-caption text from previously aired television programs. The Mountain View-based company also recently began to encourage visitors to submit personal videos so they can be indexed.