Peter Cole has a column in The Independent that is just fundamentally wrong. Cole argues that Google’s $500-a-share price is fueled by newspaper journalism. While never once mentioning Google search, Cole talks about Google News as the aggregator that “hoovers up” all that great newspaper content and makes billions putting advertising against it — as if without newspaper content, Google would be selling for $5-per-share.
But here’s the glaring, obvious and wrongheaded flaw with that argument: No ads are placed on Google News — NONE AT ALL!
Google has done very well with contextual advertising against organic search results, and some newspaper content does occasionally appear in those results. But that has nothing to do with Google News, which is all Cole writes about, and newspaper results in organic search are only a relatively small portion of the overall content universe.
Google News does a pretty good job of driving traffic to newspaper web sites — and they do it all without charging newspapers a dime for freely advertising their content. Cole has the equation completely backwards.
[dels]google, newspapers, content, advertising[/dels]
I couldn’t agree more, Howard. This whole line about how Google is ripping off newspapers and therefore they should cough up some of that money is just a load of bollocks. If newspapers can’t make money from the traffic Google News sends them, then they don’t deserve to get any traffic.