Over the last few weeks we’ve noticed a few puzzling images appearing next to our search results on Google. The images are the same as the thumbnails used next to YouTube videos and there is a “Related Videos” link next to them which sounds reasonable apart from the fact we don’t have any videos hosted on the pages concerned.
Clicking on the related videos leads through to a Google Video search showing even more videos from various sections of the site but we couldn’t understand where they were coming from. The images were strange and didn’t look like anything we had on the site.
It was only when we tried to watch some of the videos that it started to become clear - the videos didn’t have a play button but when you hover over them the corner peels down just like the peel away adverts we have on the top of the site.
So Google must be assuming that the Flash file powering the peelover ad is a video and indexing it accordingly without any intervention from us. It certainly seems strange that Google would make this mistake but that does seem to be the case. We’re going to notify Google of the issue and will keep you posted.