Thursday, January 7, 2010

Newspapers are biting the Google hand that feeds them

Newspapers continue to blame Google for stealing their business, despite the fact that it is driving visitors to their sites.

John A. Byrne, the ex-editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com has now gone on record as stating that:
Search--largely Google--now accounts for some 45% of the traffic at BW.com, up from less than 20% in 2006. That simple little box is driving vast amounts of advertising inventory (and therefore revenue) to the site and it's no coincidence. In common with every other media brand, we did lots of things to make our site search friendly. We rewrote headlines, simplified URLs, hired an on-staff SEO expert to lead seminars in search optimization. In other words, we courted Google and the search traffic we achieved. It's a similar story everywhere else.
He claims that publishers, in now blaming Google are biting the very hand that feeds them. The fact that these newspaper sites cannot monetise these visitors is not Google's fault, its the responsibility of the publishers to create a place where visitors will want to stay and return to(perhaps by fostering communities and creating a dialogue, rather than just putting words on a page?).
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