Have a look at this video:

While you are looking at it, pass your mouse cursor over it and notice the appearance of a search box at the top of the video.

This search box violates the prime directive: Shit you do not ask for should not happen. There is an increasing number of such violations: Things that come popping out of a word or graphic just because you get your mouse nearby.

Well, this pseudonym has been quietly passing around information on how to turn the above into this:

When you place the embed code into your blog post, insert the parameter &showsearch=0 at the end of the quoted URL bit (just before the closing quote mark) in each of the two places the URL occurs. Apparently, “showsearch” is on (‘1’) by default.

Evil YouTube. Bad YOuTube.


  1. #1 Azkyroth
    December 31, 2008

    Err, neither of them does that on my end.

  2. #2 Martin
    December 31, 2008

    Ditto. I’ve never seen this search box thing before, and it doesn’t appear on either video above. I’m using Firefox 3 on Windows XP, and I’m in the UK, so maybe it’s some sort of problem that only affects Internet Explorer / Linux Users / Americans?

  3. #3 Andrew
    December 31, 2008

    It is quite visible to me.

  4. #4 Mimi
    December 31, 2008

    Yeah… I have no search bar thingy at all. For either. I tried random others online as well. Nothing. Sorry.

  5. #5 Stacy S.
    December 31, 2008

    No search bar for me either- (and I tried really hard)!

  6. #6 Doug Alder
    December 31, 2008

    no search bar either – FF3 on Ubuntu. Although I have seen it on Youtube lately and been rather annoyed at times. Still, Youtube is a costly business to run (overall Google adds ~500,000 new servers each year to its data centers – for comparison purposes Microsoft adds ~400,000 – which is why both companies are rapidly building new data centers) so I won’t fault them for looking for ways to increase their revenue.

  7. #7 Danimal
    December 31, 2008

    Same here, no search bar when using IE.

  8. #8 Jim Ward
    December 31, 2008

    I saw it, it’s the search bar that appears after the video is finished. It does not appear while the video is running and you pass your mouse over it.

    Taking that into account, I don’t really know what the problem is. Searching for a video after the video is finished is probably a common occurrance so it saves you a click.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    December 31, 2008

    This is a very interesting phenomenon, and this is why you never believe anything you read on the internet (about how computers work) unless conmfirmed. I posted code on this post that produces the image of a video you can run from Youtube, and whereby if you pass your mouse over the upper part of the image before running the video you get a search bar at the top of the video, if you are using a computer with flash installed and running.

    Several people indicated that they could not see this … there was a whole email conversation about this that one of the commenters here could have seen.

    Then some of you started indicated that you could not see it, but i still could. (See next post, which is a screen shot). Then more of you started to say you could not see it.

    Currently, it happens on my desktop but not my wife’s laptop.

    So, Jim: To answer your question, there is no problem (in my view) with this highly useful screen that comes up when a Youtube video is done, which includes the search bar and some other stuff that I for one have come to know and love. But there IS a problem with shit that pops up out of nowhere when not asked for such as the search bar that does in fact pop up on some computers with a mouse over.

    Mouse overs should not equal actions. Ever. Ever ever ever.

  10. #10 Stephanie Z
    December 31, 2008

    I find mouseover text useful in some places (like on sidebars) that are essentially a list of links. It pops up quickly, adds information, and doesn’t get in the way of clicking on the link. That’s about it, though.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    December 31, 2008

    A world in which the law of coding said “No click, no event, ever ever ever” would be a much better world than the one we have now. The distinction between mouse over events that are OK and not appears to be lost on developers, or at least, can’t be enforced, so it can never really work to ever allow it.

    The mice need to get directly involved in this, I think.

  12. #12 HP
    December 31, 2008

    FF3 and OSX; I don’t see the search box in this case, but I have seen it on other blogs. I think there’s a bit more to this than is indicated in the original tip.

    BTW, I’m not much of hacker, but I did discover something about youtube that might possibly be of use to someone. Right-click this link and send it to a new tab or window, and tell me what you see.

    (It’s a direct link to the value of src=”” attribute in the <embed> tag.