Youku, China’s leading Internet television company, officially announced Soku — a professional video search engine specializing in video search covering the entire Youku network, as well as all the other mainstream video sites.

Compared with traditional search engines, the new Soku focuses only on videos as part of Youku’s “everything about video” strategy, covering all aspects of the video viewing experience — from producing and aggregating content to helping users find interesting videos.

According to studies conducted by the Chinese Internet Network Information Center, 74% of video users search within online video sites, not search engines. Soku makes video searching and sharing more vertically integrated and optimized. The new search engine features a new recommendation system that uses a number of variables aside from keywords and tags, including past behavior and network speed.

According to Youku CTO Yao Jian, 2011 will be a year for Youku to launch its user experience in full force, to make Youku a more ubiquitous part of the Internet user experience in China. He claims that 5 years’ experience of video operations means Youku knows its users’ needs and habits.

Youku received a license for Internet video search from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television this spring. According to iResearch, the online video company has a 37% market share in terms of total user time spent viewing online videos in China, with approximately 283 million monthly unique visitors.