Big Media to Google, Make Us Number One Again

March 23, 2009

I enjoyed Steve Rubel’s article “Media Companies Ask Google to Favor Their Content Over Blogs” here. He presented the argument originally set forth in Ad Age and some some useful comments. For me, the most interesting was:

A neutral Google is a good Google. They should continue to deliver an algorithm that rewards the highest quality sources that have earned a following, interest and links from other sources. If the media companies don’t want Google to favor bloggers, why not just stop linking to them or use no follow tag? That may over time, erode their Google Juice. However, I suspect most realize it’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle.

Neutral? Hmmm.

However, I wanted to ask several questions. I don’t want to forget them:

  1. Why are the big media outfits so confident that their information should be at the top of a Google results list? When I run a query about Google or Microsoft technology, I skip big media write ups and look for solid information in technical papers or from specialist sources.
  2. What’s driving this proposal at this time? My hunch is that after a decade of ignoring Google and even longer hoping that online would behave like information on paper or on 1950s broadcast TV, the big media folks realize that they are marginalized. The savior is Google. Google is not a religion, so why not pay Google for placement?
  3. How can informed people perceive Google as objective?: Run a query for enterprise search. Who is at the top of the results list? Why is this entry at the top of the results list? Why are pointers to my Google patent search buried in the Google search results?  I must admit that the notion that Google is objective is a novel one to me.

I liked Mr. Rubel’s analysis for the most part. I think his write up will spark a number of comments.

Stephen Arnold, March 23, 2009


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