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More on Content Players and Google

Posted by: Jon Fine on February 2, 2006

Another news executive making loud noises and demanding some kind of payment from Google.

I had a lot of fun writing about this a few weeks back. Two thoughts on this: One, completely walling yourself off to search engines is likely disastrous—but some have suggested ways to skin this cat without taking so drastic a step. (Read Cal’s comment here.)

And two, we are going to hear a lot more about established media players pushing back against the search engines in ‘06, which will lead someone smart to figure out what the future model should be.

What could that model be?

Reader Comments


February 3, 2006 10:15 AM

What Google is providing by indexing web pages is better access to data coming from a wide variety of sources. Much talk is made in the programming world that this is a "new" economy, but I am convinced that the invention of the telephone, radio and intercontinental railroad caused much more paradigm upheaval than the internet. These content sources, should absolutely get paid for their work, but that should remain THEIR business model and how the content providers wish to make money- Google is essentially promoting access to existing free sources of information and is not responsible for paying them (unlike, let's say, the Google book thing).

If the newspaper's model is based on advertising- Then that's it. When the http_referrer variable lists google as the page that was linked to the newspaper- display more ads than if the user just typed the URL in. Or charge advertisers more. Newspapers do not have to post anything for free on their website. They know why they do. Google is part of that same process.

The editor of the Financial Times makes the comment that "reading the headline and a paragraph" is sometimes "enough" for a reader. That is no different from scanning headlines at the deli and not buying the paper- it builds brand recognition for the paper, but businesses learned to lump it.

The media is shrinking and writers are losing jobs as the need to create a localized slant on major news stories fades into one big AP Wire supplemented with editorials and third party blogs. A new generation of young adults who only know an era of 24 hour tv news will shape how many newspapers get sold. It may suck to have one's entire business model based in print journalism and to see the world change. But the editors were warned by CNN in the early 80s. They neither owe Google nor does Google owe them.



February 5, 2006 9:57 AM

It's all very interesting and I do hold "strong" private thoughts on how the immediate future will unfold!

It does seem to me that maybe "old world" publishers could have had a strong word in Googles ear ( at some stage) already and possibly may have even upset them?

I had previously written (elsewhere), & at a time well & truly prior to the current 'cafuffle', what was a completely opposite point of view, as follows:

"The clear understanding that 'content' will only be crawled/indexed by Google provided it is accompanied by Google's ADSENSE needs to be knocked on the head, immediately".

If there is any substance in this (February 03, 2006) story, (from TimesOnline), we may well have a "full on" war on our hands, sooner than we could imagine? ...

"Rumours mount over Google's internet plan"

By Benjamin Cohen

"Google is working on a project to create its own global internet protocol (IP) network, a private alternative to the internet controlled by the search giant, according to sources who are in commercial negotiation with the company".,,9075-2023600,00.html



February 23, 2006 4:10 PM


Gravee has a model that MIGHT work. . . a model that attempt to get deeper and more valuable content exposed in a search engine while sharing in the value created. Let me know what you think . . .

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The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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