Do You Want To Compete Against Google?Jul 28th, 2008 | By James Lewin | Category: Commentary
Jason Calacanis has published a smart post today, looking at the implications of Google Knol – and the idea that Google’s now a content company competing with Wikipedia, media networks and you as a blogger, vlogger or podcaster.
When Google announced Knol, we said “Google is looking for a way to monetize user-generated articles, effectively paying you to create a Wikipedia-killer.”
Calacanis is looking beyond the idea of Knol being a Wikipedia-killer, though, suggesting that Google’s now a content publisher competing with every content creator:
Let’s run a test: what is the role of a content publisher?
1. Secure talent
2. Distribute their work
3. Monetize that work
4. Pay the content creator for their work
5. Build a library of that work for future monetization
So, if you’re the New York Times or Wall Street Journal you:
1. Hire John Markoff and Walt Mossberg (on staff)
2. Distribute their technology reportage
3. Sell advertising against that reportage
4. Pay Markoff and Mossberg
5. Create an archive on NYTIMES.com and WSJ.com of their work.
Let’s run Google’s Knol through this same process:
1. Hire writers (on contingency) — check
2. Distribute these pages in Google’s search results — check
3. Sell advertising against it in the form of AdSense — check
4. Pay the writers via AdSense split — check
5. Create an archive on Knol for future monetization — check
Google has left the “don’t be evil” days far behind, and appears to be using its search monopoly to take an ever growing slice of the online advertising pie.
“It seems that Google, the greatest web-business ever created, is not satisfied with owning over 70% of search,” writes Calacanis. “Now they want to own the first couple of pages in their search results. So, if you’re digg.com, About.com, NYTimes.com, and Wikipedia, you’re faced with not only being traffic-dependent on Google, you’re now competing with them for the traffic within their search result.”
With Google putting Knol pages high in search results, content publishers are faced with a tough choice: move your content into Knol and share your revenue with Google, or watch Google pay somebody to build your your competition.