Media Giants Want Special Treatment In Google’s Search Results

Mar 23rd, 2009 | By | Category: Commentary, General

Ad Age has an interesting article today that looks at how big media companies are putting more and more pressure on Google to give them priority treatment -  above bloggers, microbloggers, podcasters and other indie media creators – in search results:

Many publishers resent the criteria Google uses to pick top results, starting with the original PageRank formula that depended on how many links a page got. But crumbling ad revenue is lending their push more urgency; this is no time to show up on the third page of Google search results. And as publishers renew efforts to sell some content online, moreover, they’re newly upset that Google’s algorithm penalizes paid content.

“You should not have a system,” one content executive said, “where those who are essentially parasites off the true producers of content benefit disproportionately.”

The issue has become a hot button for Google’s Publishers Advisory Council, a small, invitation-only group for professional publishers that includes BusinessWeek, ESPN, Hearst, Meredith, The New York Times, Time Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.

Effectively, members of Google’s Publishers Advisory Council want to cut in line and get preferential treatment in search results.

Big Media Needs To Get Some New Media Savvy

While these big media companies can blame Google for the fact that they are getting spanked by new media content creators in search results, they could fix the problem themselves by getting some new media savvy:

  • They need to think about search engine optimization – large companies have done a terrible job of moving their content to the web. A recent survey found that Fortune 500 companies are “doing a very poor job of ensuring that their ‘money’ keywords are represented in natural search.” Successful indie content creators have adapted their publishing processes to the realities of competing for search engine rankings.
  • They need to compete for links – you’d be surprised at how many companies have convoluted legal policies outlining the procedure for linking to their sites, instead of actually encouraging links.
  • They need to get with RSS – go to many large publishers’ sites and you’ll struggle to find RSS feeds. This makes it harder for bloggers and mobile Internet users to follow and respond to big media content.
  • They need to tear down those walls – too many big media sites put up signon or subscription barriers to readers. These are barriers to bloggers, too, who might otherwise link to good content.
  • They need to get with The Social – people’s attention isn’t just moving away from newspapers and magazines, it’s moving away from big media sites to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube and other new media/social media sites. Manty big media companies are off the radar for people that frequent these sites.

Instead of trying to “cut in line”, members of Google’s Publishers Advisory Council need to clean up their own house – and see what they can learn from new media content creators.

Image: bob the lomond

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No Responses to “Media Giants Want Special Treatment In Google’s Search Results”

  1. arjun says:

    Google is going to have to change their search results to keep big advertisers happy.

  2. msbpodcast says:

    Big media is going to have to learn that we are NOT going to bend over and let them do us dry.

    I couldn’t agree more with the statement “Big Media Needs To Get Some New Media Savvy.”

    The ones that can get some will deserve our respect (and if their content is any good, our money.)

    The ones that can’t will go and quietly f*ck themselves in a corner somewhere.

    I don’t want to be bothered with their usual ‘fapp’ing sounds…

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