Hot News: Google Is Interested in Content
August 11, 2008
That wild and wonderful New York Times has a rear view mirror article that you must read. It’s here and called “Is Google a Media Company?” by Miguel Helft, a really good writer. For me, the key point in the article is this statement:
Google has long insisted that it has no plans to own or create content, and that it is a friend, not a foe, of media companies. The Google search engine sends huge numbers of users to the digital doorsteps of thousands of media companies, many of which also rely on Google to place ads on their sites.
This is, of course, Google’s standard verbiage, its “game plan” talk.
Mr. Helft quotes a range of experts who offer a contrary view. A Harvard professor (David B. Yoffie) surely is in the know, is quoted saying:
‘If I am a content provider and I depend upon Google as a mechanism to drive traffic to me, should I fear that they may compete with me in the future?’ Professor Yoffie asked. ‘The answer is absolutely, positively yes.’
I talk a bit–I recall I devoted 20 or 25 pages–to Google’s publishing and content acquisition / distribution inventions in my August 2007 study Google Version 2.0. If you are curious, there’s more information here. Outsell, a nifty consulting outfit in Burlingame, California, recycled some of my research late last year. There is a bit of dissonance between what my research suggested and the tasty sound bites in the New York Times article.
The key point is that Google’s been beavering away in “publishing” for quite a while. Actually, publishing, even the word media, is too narrow. Google has somewhat wider vistas in mind if I understand its patent documents and technical papers.
It’s exciting to know that now the paper of record has made it official. Google has some media thoughts in its Googzilla brain.
Stephen Arnold, August 11, 2008