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Google The Almighty Buck The Media Technology

Why Bite the Google Hand That Feeds You? 192

Techdirt pointed out that not long ago, John Byrne, ex-editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com and now CEO of newly founded C-Change Media, decided to tackle the problem of why publications seem to be so vehemently opposed to Google being a part of their business process. While there aren't any earth-shattering revelations, it is a great, succinct description of the problem. "I received several solid answers from followers of this blog, including Frymaster who immediately took sides in the ongoing war between Traditional Media and Google. Wrote Frymaster: 'I reject out-of-hand the assertion that Google is profiting from others' content. Rather, I say that Google profits from connecting users to content. It is a service that most web publishers appreciate greatly. Google, unlike any other search engine ever, goes to great pains to deliver the least-skewed results possible. Google is constantly on the hunt for people who game their system. That's why they succeed. There is a direct connection between Google's user-centric, community-oriented approach and their financial success.'"
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Why Bite the Google Hand That Feeds You?

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  • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @12:45PM (#30551682)

    If you make a product people like and don't piss off people while making them want to use something else... they'll use your product?

    STOP THE PRESSES!

    • by dhall ( 1252 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @12:48PM (#30551688)

      If you worked for any length of time in or with big business, you'd be surprised to find that someone is actually saying "the emperor has no clothes on".

      It may seem like common sense, but there are reasons why Officespace and Dilbert are so popular. In some cases truth is stranger than fiction.

    • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) *

      Because they are the wrong kind of people those publishers want (ie something that makes them money), but they also don't want to give content away for free.

    • Like TFS said: No earth-shattering revelations.

    • If you make a product people like and don't piss off people while making them want to use something else... they'll use your product?

      STOP THE PRESSES!

      Of course stop the presses - they're quickly going obsolete.

      Just as Google will also go obsolete within 20 years as technology evolves to the point where we don't need centralized "gate-keepers" to tell us what we should be downloading. The network then WILL be the computer, and the computer will be the network. Content producers will communicate direc

  • Capitalism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 25, 2009 @12:54PM (#30551718)

    Google is like a market maker. Some people despise market makers, but they are ignorant of how trade works. Does the market maker profit from the trades of others? Yes, but without him there would be much less trade, and everyone would be worse off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by noidentity ( 188756 )
      In other words, it's a non-zero-sum game. Google profits from these online publications, and these online publications profit from Google pointing people to them (and users profit from having easier access to the information!).
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      But these news outfits all want to be that market maker. Like TFA says, its all about building brand image as the trusted source. Right now, people trust Google, not the media outlets. There are two problems (from the POV of 'old media') with this situation:

      • Brand loyalty is worth a premium over the commodity value of the product. People are willing to pay a bit more to buy the brand name cereal than the generic stuff.
      • That brand loyalty and trust can be sold to interest groups. Its why well known actors and
  • TFS/TFA just says, what everybody on the net is repeating since the beginning of it all. Including pretty much every commenter here on Slashdot.

    But now it’s all news, because a site that PHBs read mentiones it?
    Are we PHBs, or what?

    • TFS/TFA just says, what everybody on the net is repeating since the beginning of it all. Including pretty much every commenter here on Slashdot.

      But now it’s all news, because a site that PHBs read mentiones it? Are we PHBs, or what?

      A respectable PHB chooses good people who understand their field and then listens to their advice. Such a boss would already be knowledgable about such issues if they are relevant to the business. Unfortunately, those bosses seem to be in the minority and many of their peers were simply promoted to their level of incompetence. To answer your question, we generally are not PHBs, but most of us have to deal with them. Getting the word out to them in a form that they accept as credible is far better than n

    • No, we're PHPs and the rest are Pythons
      • by grcumb ( 781340 )

        No, we're PHPs and the rest are Pythons

        Untrue. Some of us are Perls before swine.

        ... And we want you off our lawn.

  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @01:21PM (#30551842)

    They send you traffic, for free, and set up advertising to make you money.

    Papermongers hate google, because no one wants their wares anymore, much as I'm sure horse breeders hated Henry Ford.

    • Papermongers hate google, because no one wants their wares anymore, much as I'm sure horse breeders hated Henry Ford.

      And those that are liked are probably reached directly by means of a bookmark.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @01:21PM (#30551844) Homepage Journal
    With a newspaper or magazine the content attracts readers to the ads. Manufacturers and merchants depend on the ads to drive business. The traditional media allowed ads to be the center of attention for at least a little while. It worked.

    Google does not deliver the package of ads with gratuitous attractive content supplied by traditional media. While this has as much to do with online delivery as google, google has first go at ads, in the search results, which tends to decouple any matching that may be done on the article level.

    In effect, google completely breaks the traditional mass advertising model. Traditional media realizes this, which is why they are rebelling. The problem is that some traditional media thinks it can replace the ad model with a fully paid subscriber model. I don't think it can. There has to be a way for traditional media to co-exist with search engines,and this is the challenge. The companies that can innovate the ad model will be the companies that get out in tact. The others that just complain about all the money that is being stolen by google will likely be on those lame shows where losers complain about the government taking their jobs,and how socialism is ruining the country.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jthill ( 303417 )

      Please, bring up Google News [google.com] and count the ads on that page.

      I don't do Google searches looking for news, nor does anyone I know. If I'm just keeping tabs on the news I sequence through the awesome bar: google news, ars, el reg, /. and the rest, with a sprinkling of the bbc or whathaveyou when there's time.

      In all cases where I'm looking for content traditionally served by media publishers , the only ads I see are on the publishers' sites, not Google's.

      Google doesn't show ads when you're looking for movi

    • Your kind of right, Rupert does see the billions google makes and thinks it somehow should be his. The disconnect for these guys is they don't actually understand the concept of choice, because they run their business with an iron fist. customers however are not employee's, so the iron fisted approach isn't going to work.

      really if paper publishers had any sense they would see google as a chance to reduce costs and increase readership and advertising sales.

    • It sounds like you're saying that Google allows users to bypass the bloated navigation pages of a site, instead going directly to the page they want to view. Tough luck, guys. I hate dealing with every website's differing and usually annoying navigation a site offers, and use Google almost all the time to find that final page I want to view.
    • You just don't understand what google is doing.
      I quote: "Google does not deliver the package of ads with gratuitous attractive content supplied by traditional media."

      Google's content is, "an answer to your question".

      It's not movies.
      It's not music.
      It's not political commentary.

      It's an answer to the question, where do I find ___.

      The essential problem, the reason for revolt, is that on google, THE ADVERTISING CONFLICTS WITH THE CONTENT.
      Maybe you want to buy a honda. But here's this nissan ad, and you click on

      • by dkf ( 304284 )

        Another example: I want my users to type in my domain and drill down to pages. This gets me maybe 3 or 4 pageviews.
        Coming in straight from google gets me one pageview.
        See how this could get someone upset?

        On the other hand, that one pageview will be of what the user wants so they are likely to keep looking at it for a while and they will think about the content. All those other views from the other model were representative of users' frustration, of things that were in the way of users getting what they want. That means that that one view is more a more valuable one to you as it represents a more satisfied (and receptive to advertisements) consumer of your content.

        If you truly think that pageviews are a meas

  • Yahoo News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gudeldar ( 705128 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @01:24PM (#30551858)
    Why are the news publishers never up in arms about Yahoo News? Yahoo News is more popular than Google News by a significant amount [flickr.com].

    I guess they realize there is more money in going after Google than there is in Yahoo.
    • Yahoo News actually hires reporters and correspondents to write large amounts of original content. Google purely indexes the works of others. That's a big difference.

    • Probably because Yahoo News isn't an aggregator?

      They write their own articles, and license content from AP and Reuters, just like any printed paper does. There's no reason publishers should be upset about that, since it's the same thing they're doing-- until recently I'd say the only difference is the lack of a printing press, but now a lot of previously printed papers are online-only too.

  • Screw Google. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thoreauly Nuts ( 1701246 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @01:39PM (#30551924)

    Google is utterly evil as far as I am concerned. Why? Because they are in league with the worst people in existence: advertisers. Advertisers have ruined just about every great thing I have ever liked.

    Remember when magazines had more content than ads? No longer. In fact, they purposefully don't put page numbers on the ad pages so you are forced to page through them to try to find the fucking articles.

    Remember when TV shows only had 2 minutes of commercials? Now they have almost 10 minutes or so, and that doesn't include the logos and ticker/pop-up advertisements during the shows themselves...

    Remember when cable had no commercials at all?

    Remember when radio stations regularly had half hour to hour long blocks of uninterrupted music?

    Remember when the internet wasn't a bunch of fucking pop-ups, banners, and flash crap? In fact, remember when the net was more like a library than a TV?

    I even remember a time when my e-mail was just that and not a bunch of spam. Besides, my dick is rock hard and I don't want a Rolex so STFU already.

    Even Google itself has been getting steadily worse as well over the years with searches returning less and less pertinent results.

    I swear, the day a Minority Report type ad assaults me at the mall, I'm going to go postal. I can only take so much before I have to start making ear necklaces out of these bastards.

    In every case the product has gotten worse, not better due to advertising influence. You would think with all that income it would be otherwise, but not so.

    I've finally blocked google and all their accomplices from my home network to the degree that I am able and I don't care in the slightest if certain sites fail due to lack of advertising income. The internet is like an information based RAID array. Another site will just take their place and fill the void until it too fails and the cycle repeats.

    • Remember when the internet wasn't a bunch of fucking pop-ups, banners, and flash crap? In fact, remember when the net was more like a library than a TV?

      Adblock [mychromeaddons.com] / Flashblock [chromespot.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Pederson ( 1431413 )
      While I share your hate with advertising, Google does none of the things you listed. In fact Google is making an extremely good effort to not have these intrusive, unrelated, and untruthful Ads. That said, I still hate Ads -even Google Ads. But it exists. Google has awesome products and services. Why would I hate a company that is attempting (and somewhat succeeding) at making something I hate better and offering me excellent things while doing so. Basically, sounds like you're an angry irrational kid whom
      • To expand on that relative to GP's bickering, as an adblock/flashblock/noscript user I do appreciate reasonably balanced advertising. The only cost is my eyeballs, and sometimes the information is actually useful.

        Newspaper advertising is too expensive relative to the value it provides. This is dangerous for newspapers and sites like Monster where they have long been able to charge a significant premium due to limited access.

        If they want to be able to charge a premium (relative to Craigslist), they had bette

    • I feel you, but aren't you blaming the wrong people? The people making the commercials aren't the problems; it's the people running the media you're consuming. To a large extent, the increase in advertisement ratio you're put-out by tracks along with the consolidation of media industries and the narrowing of all sorts of margins as competition became more intense with the deregulation of markets. It also tracks along with the multiplication of media types. As the amount of viewers per minute gets less--beca
    • Re:Screw Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Entropy98 ( 1340659 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @02:26PM (#30552152) Homepage

      You're right, how dare websites be economically viable.

      The Wallstreet Journal, Slashdot, Google, Youtube, Facebook, and the smaller (and much smaller) websites should be free to view AND advertising free.

      • You're right, how dare websites be economically viable.

        The Wallstreet Journal, Slashdot, Google, Youtube, Facebook, and the smaller (and much smaller) websites should be free to view AND advertising free.

        Nobody said anything of the sort. If I'm getting a product for free, I don't mind the inclusion of many ads because I understand someone's gotta pay the piper. Similarly, I don't mind paying a subscription fee for a quality publication that has at most a handful of ads. For example, I happily subscribe to the Wall Street Journal.

        What annoys me is when the publisher double-dips by charging me a hefty subscription fee AND then provides a product that's more advertising than substance.

        For example, I pay a si

    • +1 Mod parent up. A+++ WOULD BUY AGAIN

      (By the way, I gave up ads on my news site when I realised that I was taking 1/120 of the money I made working for a living in order to shove FLOATING FUCKING BANNERS in my friends' faces. WTF.)

    • Re:Screw Google. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MartinSchou ( 1360093 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @03:26PM (#30552376)

      Alright, you don't like Google because of their use of advertising. Fair enough.

      So - how much would you be willing to pay to use a search engine that doesn't use advertising to finance their running costs?

      Also, would you rather use one that takes money from companies, but doesn't show advertisements and instead bump those companies' websites, or one that tries to return relevant search results and advertisements next to it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        Before the Internet became widespread, high schools and libraries had to pay big dollars ($20 a query, as well as a monthly fee) so they would have dialup access to a database that would search for sources. Usually you had to be *very* good at phrasing, else you would get absolutely nothing relevant (as the database only would show the first 20-30 hits), and have to do another expensive query with better terms.

        Do we want to go back to this model, where we would have to subscribe to a paywall to keep Google

        • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
          not just before the internet, a few years ago in college we were given access to, iirc, the school's EBSCOhost account for a research paper, and despite the careful wording and use of operators to be precise, it gave garbage results compared to searching google with the topic name , journal and ".pdf" looking for journal articles, then a quick follow up to make sure the "journal" was actually reputable, all for free and in a few seconds.
      • Those are irrelevant options. In the age of the internet, a public search engine should be paid for through taxes, in the same way that we already pay for the courts, we pay for the police, we pay for the military, etc. If it's a service that's for everyone and that everyone needs to use, it shouldn't be private. Think NASA or the military, but for information technology.

        It should have no advertising, and it should have no corporate sponsorship, and it should be accountable to the public. It should also b

        • Those are irrelevant options. In the age of the internet, a public search engine should be paid for through taxes, in the same way that we already pay for the courts, we pay for the police, we pay for the military, etc. If it's a service that's for everyone and that everyone needs to use, it shouldn't be private. Think NASA or the military, but for information technology.

          Ok, usually I'm pretty liberal and think that the government can (and should) provide some services where it makes sense that only one ent

          • The search market is competitive,

            Excellent! If it's competitive, what does it matter if we were to add one more taxpayer funded competitor? Think of it like having the BBC available on TV. You sound a little worried ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sowbug ( 16204 )

      Advertisers have ruined just about every great thing I have ever liked.

      Then you should patronize only businesses that don't advertise.

      • by winwar ( 114053 )

        "Then you should patronize only businesses that don't advertise."

        Yep. I wish him luck. Because I know of no such businesses.

        Businesses advertise because it works.

        And frankly if advertising has destroyed every great thing in your life, your life is pathetic. The phrase "Get a life" comes to mind.

      • Advertisers have ruined just about every great thing I have ever liked.

        Then you should patronize only businesses that don't advertise.

        Name five?

        Can't take the bus, can't ride the public roads, can't even use a motor vehicle. Can't shop for groceries, can't eat any food that is sold... seriously, mr free market solution, how do you actually accomplish something like that?

        • by Sowbug ( 16204 )

          Ding, ding! Congratulations, you got my point.

        • seriously, mr free market solution, how do you actually accomplish something like that?

                that might have been his point.

        • by Jay L ( 74152 ) *

          Then you should patronize only businesses that don't advertise.

          Name five?

          Easy. First stop: the store that's not only notorious for NOT advertising, but for banning anyone who so much as mentions them on the web: T---

          Hey, wait a minute.

        • Congratulations on slowly getting to the point that everybody else figured out right away.

    • Advertisers have ruined just about every great thing I have ever liked.

      Based, seemingly, on a very rose colored remembrance of days past.

  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Friday December 25, 2009 @01:40PM (#30551932) Homepage

    The problem is this:

    1. Print advertising makes ten times as much per buyer than online advertising.

    2. No-one much is buying print advertising any more.

    The papers are no good at selling print ads any more, so they blame the supplier of online ads. i.e., anyone other than themselves.

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      Here's the problem with print ads, and why they're failing:

      * First, there's an intrinsic cycle cost to the advertising company (ie, the papers and magazines): they've got to print a paper.
      * Second, they've got no way to provide metrics to their users, short of their users communicating where they heard about the company/product/etc. in person.
      * Third, most print ads are of a limited distribution due to the niche interest of the media; a locally pertinent newspaper, a special interest magazine (Pet Times, Fi

  • You have to distinguish the Google functionality that provides search results and leads users to the content owner's website from the various Google projects that incorporate - in "corporate" terms you'd say "steal" - sufficient content for the user's needs and only provide a link to the owner for further information. For example, most users only read short summaries of news articles - so they never click on the link to the content owner's pages when they can read that on Google News. Or look at blatantly s

    • We all love Google Search, but could do without Google the content aggregator who monetizes everyone else's content.

            They show a couple of lines with the search terms highlighted. When you click on the link you're taken to the news site.

            Is there anybody here complaining that actually uses Google? And complaining about little text ads to the side of the page?

        rd

    • what a load of bullcrap, the couple of lines google shows falls under fair use, and certainly doesn't stop anyone visiting the site. Does rupert plan on hiding the front page of his newspapers, because people might read the first paragraph on the first page and decide not to buy the newspaper?!
    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      bull shit.

      google follows robots.txt if any producer actually believes that their content is so worthless that people won't read more than the first 2 sentences.
      • I normally don't reply to such incoherent drivel, but ... robots.txt (possibly) excludes the crawler from indexing the site, not Google from quoting arbitrary (and arbitrarily sized) parts of it. Those who are so eager to claim "fair use" for any use of excerpts, should understand that what constitutes fair use and what is copyright infringement depends on local laws. It's no surprise Google has had problems in several countries, esp. with reproduced images.
  • As I have watched this situation unfold, I keep thinking of something I read once. "A wise (powerful?) man keeps his friends close and his enemies closer." I tried Machiavelli, and Sun Tzu but can't quite find it. If Google is bringing them readers who will click on ads, then they are a friend and should be kept close, or in the loop. If Google is truly breaking their business model the choices are even clearer. Quit whining and lure Google into the castle, close the door and win; or just go to war and dest

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dwye ( 1127395 )

      > "A wise (powerful?) man keeps his friends close and his enemies
      > closer." I tried Machiavelli, and Sun Tzu but can't quite find it.

      Try Mario Puzo. I am fairly sure that was in The Godfather (the book, I mean -- it was certainly in the movie).

  • This being slashdot, I can predict that there will be lots of people modding each other up for saying that news should be free, comparing newspapers to manufacturers of buggy whips, etc. Actually the positions of both google and the traditional print media are a lot more nuanced than that, so it might be worth considering whether they actually know their own business better than slashdotters do. This [yahoo.com] article (not paywalled!) has a nice, up-to-date discussion of the issues. Google is trying to work out a com

    • by toriver ( 11308 )

      The point is that for 99% of news sites out there, Goggle is the way (non-local) people find them. As in, visitors. Block them out and reduce your exposure, I am sure advertiser would flock to that idea.

      Leaving out the middle man might sound fine in theory, but... would Coca-Cola sell as much of their products if people had to go to Atlanta, Georgia to buy them?

      "High-quality reporting" will be there if there is a market for it, regardless of business model. But often it is the "citizen reporting" that drive

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vakuona ( 788200 )
      Online is a superior replacement for newspapers. For starters, you can have exactly the same content as in the dead tree media. Secondly, you can update stories that are online. With newspapers, you can either release an evening edition, or have to wait until the next day to update stories for new developments. You also get a potentially wider readership with online because you can reach non local areas. Very few newspaper have a national or even international reach.
    • Editorial work isn't free. Sending reporters to Afghanistan isn't free. Yes, they can get some revenue from advertising, but possibly not enough to support high-quality reporting if it's the sole source of revenue.

      There's more advertising than content in the paper, I don't want to pay to be advertised to.

    • The model they seem to have in mind is that articles will be indexed by google, and users will be able to click through to the articles for free after finding them in a google search, but newspapers will still be able to keep users from effectively getting a free subscription without paying for a subscription.

      Both things you said are true. This is slashdot, and they are modding each other just as you said they would. Also, the Google plan to mollify Murdoch and others is as you describ

  • I've worked pretty hard to pull away from the mainstream dead-pulp press sites unless they offer a variety of features I think are necessary:

    1. No login, but if I do voluntarily create an account, I should get some advantages (targeted ads would be nice, like Facebook where I can vote on ads)
    2. Comments. If the deadpulpsters don't want my input, I don't want theirs.
    3. Reasonable variety of facts over what the AP and other wires vomit. Originality counts, even if I disagree with it.

    Yet there's another shor

  • Google brings us information, more often than not produced by someone else. This is a concept upon which all of humanity exists upon. The only difference is now there's a new medium and they're doing it better than everyone else. Murdoch (and others) are from a generation were they had control. A generation where they did something, and made lots and lots of money. However, much like the entirety of human history, advances happen. Because of those advancements they can no longer control what they used to. T
    • Damn I have mod points and I really wanted to mod up the posting directly above yours, but you diatribe must be answered and corrected.

      The only thing that has really changed is the distribution model for original content.

      The problem that Murdoch and all the others are having is now they have to contend with two distribution models.

      The first is the original one, the classic news paper that you buy off the rack or get delivered, which is now going away. Their revenue stream came from selling those papers. Y

  • Complete the quote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @02:19PM (#30552122) Homepage
    "The proverb warns that you should never bite the hand that feeds you, but maybe you should if it prevents you from feeding yourself." [famousquot...uthors.com]

    You're asking people to accept that they exist at the whim of some other business and through rules that they can't influence or control. Would you put your own business at that level of dependence? Why should a publisher?

    Google may be superficially good for a publisher today, but the reality is that they lose influence and control over their own product. They become commodity suppliers to Google, and that's no good to them. It may or may not be good for you-the-consumer, but that's not the viewpoint being argued.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • by toriver ( 11308 )

      News media ALREADY exist at something's whim, that of newsworthy events; at least to the extent they themselves don't create them in order to sell. Ironically, they are themselves a third party between an occurence and the reader interested in it, and they will eventually be replaced by citizen journalism channeled through some future sequel to Twitter or the like. That will be then, sadly this is now.

      They are, as you indicate, businesses: Their mission is to create income, it has not been to inform the pub

    • Apropo that proverb, and whim, it reminds me of the situation between IBM and Microsoft, and how Microsoft bit IBM's hand bigtime around 1993, tanking their stockprice, and driving them to the brink of extinction. Microsoft is one of the most arrogant companies ever to come into existence, driven by the personality of its CEO. Microsoft's path through the business world is littered with carcasses of companies they've obliterated on their way to the top. Embrace, extend, extinguish. They are like the emergen
      • This got me thinking some more. I never seen the Alien vs. Predator movie, but I just read the Wikipedia article, how there is a hybrid between Alien and Predator emerging at the end. Isn't there a way to create a balance between for-pay copyright but public abuse and public-only protecting but no personal incentive GPL? The current copyright is 90 years for corporations, lifetime+70 for individuals, and you can't contractually extend it further, to say 100 years for corporations, because public domain is p
        • In fact you should have 3 Feds, each with their own prime rate, kind of like Great Britain had it with the British Pound, each major bank issuing their separate bank notes, which were interconvertible.
          But unfortunately this does not work, because of the way interest works, and the way monopolies work in a free market. If one of them gets a major bulk of the outstanding loans in an economy, they can still manage to sustain themselves at a very low interest rate that drives the other competitor banks out of
  • Altavista (Score:3, Informative)

    by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @02:39PM (#30552214)

    I say that Google profits from connecting users to content. It is a service that most web publishers appreciate greatly. Google, unlike any other search engine ever, goes to great pains to deliver the least-skewed results possible. Google is constantly on the hunt for people who game their system. That's why they succeed.

    The quote's a good contrast with Altavista, which started out with "least-skewed" results, but declined when they were attacked by search engine gamers flooding the results with crap that they never really got very good at filtering out. All the while adding various portal features that cluttered up the site and tried to push users towards content they weren't looking for.

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @04:45PM (#30552774)
    People don't use google to find newspapers - they use google to find stories.

    Traditionally, the press have cultivated "loyalty" among their readership - not factual reporting. That means they want people who are comfortable with their output and will believe (or at least agree with) their content and read what is put in front of them without any critical thought. The way people find news with google is that they go and search for a topic or story or word - not for a publications's title (which they already have bookmarked). That puts pressure on the content providers to publish true, concise, and short pieces that googlers will compare with the other search results from other news sources,. before settling on reading the whole story (and advertisements) from one newspaper or news outlet.

  • The quote answers the article's own question, or at least give one possible part of the answer.

    goes to great pains to deliver the least-skewed results possible

    That is the problem they have right there, or at least one of the problems some of the publishers have with Google. The don't want any unhelpful unskewed sources out there. They either want things skewed in their direction or skewed so badly another way that they can gain public support "capital" (or just some common or garden PR fodder) by making an issue of it.

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