In an effort to out-do the FCC in this month’s “who can ruin the internet” competition, Google is testing auto-playing videos in search results.
Search Engine Land has confirmed that Google is running a “small experiment” in which “videos automatically play in the knowledge panel” immediately to the right of search results. This is roughly equivalent to your dog running a “small experiment” to see which of your furniture coverings is the most delicious.
The auto-play video pops up in the right of the search area when relevant. At the moment, the videos being shown are those relevant to the search, so you get a Game of Thrones trailer if you search Game of Thrones. Also vitally important to note is that the videos do autoplay, but they do so on mute.
For now, Google has confirmed that it’s just conducting a limited trial. A spokesperson told Search Engine Land that “we are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the search experience for our users, but have no plans to announce at this time.”
In all likelihood, this is just a Google engineer’s idea of how to improve the knowledge tab. Google is all about getting you the information you’ve searched for in the quickest possible way, which is why some searches will break out a relevant section of a website, or automatically show you images. In that respect, an auto-playing video isn’t much of a change. But it’s going to be a tough sell for customers who have come to hate auto-playing videos with a burning passion.