Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The latest Content versus Search Index wars: European publishers slam the Oodles of Googles

Posted by Tom Foremski - December 6, 2005

It's the latest round in the battle between content creators versus the index creators. Human versus machine-produced content.

"By HELENA SPONGENBERG, Associated Press Writer
BRUSSELS, Belgium - European publishers warned Tuesday that they cannot keep allowing Internet search engines such as Google Inc. to make money from their content.

"The new models of Google and others reverse the traditional permission-based copyright model of content trading that we have built up over the years," said Francisco Pinto Balsemao, the head of the European Publishers Council, in prepared remarks for a speech at a Brussels conference."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051206/ap_on_hi_te/europe_internet

Google, Yahoo and the Oodles of this world will shrug and say, that's fine, we'll stop indexing you and I guess you don't want all the traffic we send you.

But maybe the traffic isn't that great? The traffic that news sites get from search engines isn't high quality traffic. It is the web surfer, happy-go-lucky, a click here, and one there, then gone.

News is not consumed through a search box. You cannot search for news because you wouldn't know what to search for. It's new. That's why there are products such as Google News, so you can see what is news.

But advertising on news pages is not very efficient. Conversions are the highest on search pages.

So, if Google and others publish headlines and extracts of news content on their pages, it takes away traffic because that is all the content most people need for news. Fewer visitors means it makes it more difficult for the news organizations to pay their journalists--and that must affect the quality of journalism.

Let's also mention the devastating effect Google et al are having on newspaper/ news sites and their classified ads and small business advertising.

This is a double whammy against the professional media sector, imho.

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