That YouTube “Experiment” Red Banner Was Just A Display Bug

youtube-experiment-banner

Last night, some users who were conducting searches on YouTube were seeing a red banner at the top of the search results that said they were part of an “experiment.” What the experiment was and what YouTube was testing were unclear. Truth is it seems like there was no experiment, that the banner was a display bug with YouTube’s search interface.

The banner read:

Experiment: There may be confidential content in your search results. Please do not share outside Google.

This looks like what Google employees would see, as a reminder for them to not take screen shots and post them on Google+ or other social networks. It seems, if I had to guess, that Google accidentally showed this reminder to non-Google employees.

Google’s YouTube account tweeted last night:

Seeing a weird banner in your search results? No worries – fix in the works. Nothing juicy to see here!

The image above was provided by @Stu_Draper, and as you can see, there doesn’t seem to be anything experimental about the interface or search results.

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Google: YouTube

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://twitter.com/Stu_Draper Stuart Draper

    At first when I saw it, I thought I would probably get a call from the FBI for sharing “confidential” stuff on Twitter. Then I thought to myself, “HEY! Wait a minute! If it is so “confidential” why are they showing it to me on a work computer in Idaho without any notice that I am a tester or something.” LOL.

    My best guess is that it is a message that should have only been rendering at Google’s internal IP, and somehow it escaped to some externally….

    Who knows!?

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