Google Videos: A Beginner's Guide

The Google Videos search logo


Google Videos, part of Google's peripheral Web properties, is a great way to view multimedia content from YouTube, and other video search sites. This service was started in 2005, and then further expanded Google's reach into videos with the purchase of YouTube in 2007. 

As with all other Google search services, this property has evolved quite a bit over the years; as of this writing, Google Videos is a simple search tool that retrieves videos from YouTube and other relevant video sites. If you're looking for a very simple way to find videos, Google Videos is a good choice. 

How to Quickly Search Google Videos for What you Want

Google Video, much like Google's other Web services, is extremely easy to use. There are a number of ways you can find free videos and movies on Google Videos:

  • Search by keyword or phrase
  • Browse the Google Recommended Videos
  • Use the Advanced Google Videos Search

The videos on Google Videos are viewable within your browser, and most are in high-quality video resolution. In order to watch the videos, you can simply click on the video title, or click on the video image itself.

How to Filter Your Search Results

Basic Web search tips apply here at Google Videos just like they do the rest of the Web, especially using quotations around your search query: "summer olympics", for example.

Once you've typed in a phrase and gotten a page of search results back, Google Videos gives you a few more search options at the top of the page. Use the drop-down menu to filter the dates of the videos you're looking for (most recent, last month, all dates, etc.), or to filter how long of a video you're looking for (anything from less than 4 minutes to more than 20 minutes).

Why Should I Use Google Videos?

Google Videos offers a reasonably good Web video experience. We especially enjoy the special Google Videos series, such as UC Berkeley on Google Videos, Top 100 - Google Video, NARA on Google Video, and the TED Talks. Hint: if you're looking for full-length movies on Google Videos, change the duration to more than 20 minutes. You'll get a lot of great results this way.

Search for Videos with Google

Google Videos looks for videos and movies from a handful of video sites and video search engines (YouTube, Hulu, etc.). There are a few things you can do to make your searches for free streaming movies at Google Videos a little easier:

  • Have a specific movie in mind. Unfortunately, there are no subject categories or topic genres at Google Videos, so you'll need to have a specific movie in mind that you're looking for.
  • Use the search controls on the left-hand side. Once you've decided on the title of a movie to search for, you can use the search controls to narrow your search down further. For example, if you're looking for the full version of "It's a Wonderful Life", select the Long (20+ min.) option to weed out anything shorter.
  • Use the Advanced Search option. If all else fails, you can use the Advanced Search page to really dig down deep into what Google Videos has to offer. Narrow your results here by phrasing, duration, language, date, quality, domain, subtitles, results by page, and more.