Google to WSJ, New York Times, others: Piece of cake

Walked into a story on Mashable this morning that any news outlet, newspaper or defined journalist has to consider concerning.

The title seems inocuous enough “Google News Introduces Quotes in Search Results.”

Let’s be a bit pedantic here solely on the editorial side, what is a quote? And how important is quote if taken out of context?

In truth TV has been dealing with the “sound byte” issue for some time. Average sound byte has plummeted to single digit seconds. However the difference here, though Google’s product management on the feature is good, is that pulling out a quote and searching around quotes compromises the content where the quote was contained.

Wait a second, the newspaper sites are still sleeping after this paragraph. There’s more.

First, Google is creating their own algorithm of indexing and displaying quotes. This makes them an editor.

Second, Google is surfacing these quotes that you have spent resources to attain and attribute outside of your content. This makes them a competitor or compromiser of your business.

If I’m an exec, I’m concerned by this functionality, or product feature what have you. This is the ultimate paradox. I need Google traffic to drive CPM arbitrage, but every hit of the traffic I become more indebted to it.

(By the way, Reprise Media has a phenomenal product for getting your story into Google’s news and taking a rev share on it.)


I originally wrote a few lines of strategic ways of reducing my exposure to Google. But after considering these alternatives, I considered the employee lifecycle of a managing editor or CEO. I put that at 5 years and I assumed that the newspaper wants to make money now and not worry about their brand 5 years from now.

With this consideration, I would probably merely maximize my site for Google News indexing, count the extra pennies and then introduce the same feature on my site and the blogs I’ve aggregated.

Whoops, I haven’t finished by newspapers steps columns yet. Back to that shortly.


1 comment so far

  1. Zach Katkin on

    The next step at these paper is innovation – unless google has snapped up all of those too.

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