WSJ editor Robert Thompson went all out this week, dubbing Google an Internet parasite and talking some very big words around content aggregators and what they’re doing to the quality of journalism.
From the article
“And there is no doubt that’s in the interest of aggregators like Google who have profited from that mistaken perception. And they have little incentive to recognise the value they are trading on that’s created by others.”
Thomson said Google benefited from aggregating content from The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers.
“Google argues they drive traffic to sites, but the whole Google sensibility is inimical to traditional brand loyalty,” he said.
“Google encourages promiscuity — and shamelessly so — and therefore a significant proportion of their users don’t necessarily associate that content with the creator.
“Therefore revenue that should be associated with the creator is not garnered.”
Have to admit I found it interesting to see that News Digital Media – owned by the same parent as the WSJ is actually using Google to push traffic to their websites. Not just SEO, but paid search!
Search for Ben Cousins – number 1 paid result – News.com.au!
Search for AFL – number 1 paid result – News.com.au
I’m sure they’re buying a heap of other terms as a way of directing traffic to their site. Nowhere near as many as they were buying … last year the group were heavy heavy users of paid search across all their websites.
Am I the only one that sees some hypocrisy in this argument and the general talk right now around Newspapers v Google.
News is buying paid search via Google to increase its visibility around topical areas where its SEO isn’t that great.
It also has Google adsense on its sites – you know, those shitty text ads that are supposed to be contextually matched to the content
It also uses the Google Ad Network to run low cost traffic generators for its sites (current campaign is news.com.au)
There is nothing wrong with this – it’s smart business.
But then the WSJ editor comes out with this line. “”There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet.”
Certain websites include Google, make no mistake.
Thompson again: “Google devalues everything it touches,” he said. “It divides content quantitatively rather than qualitatively.”
Er … but we use it to push traffic to our sites to increase the amount of inventory we have to sell.
Am I the only one who’s confused here?