The search engine giant will today make the case that regional newspaper publishers should be allowed to merger, because of the impact of Google and other internet companies, in its submission to the Office of Fair Trading’s review of the existing newspaper merger structure.
Paul Bradshaw takes a look at new seach engine (or computational knowledge engine) Wolfram Alpha, with a journalist’s hat on.
Bradshaw finds, for example: “From a journalistic perspective, [some of its] features are a time-saver if you don’t fancy browsing through almanacs and biographies for the same facts. But that’s it. And it’s not clear where the information is coming from or how accurate it is (Karen Blakeman, whose review is worth reading, told me it gets some things wrong, ‘even chemical structures’) – that’s the advantage of Google or Wikipedia: you can evaluate the credibility of the source relatively intuitively; Wolfram, however, presents itself as the source, and where links are given in ‘Source Information’ these are often just to homepages.”
Sometimes a great headline is worth ignoring search engine optimisation rules – today’s examples in the Sun on Peter Andre and Jordan’s split show just that, as Peter Moore explains on his blog.
On that note – I’m grateful to the Brighton Argus’ web editor Jo Wadsworth for passing on this random headline generator – type in your four lines and have your own newsagent’s board.
There aren’t enough ad dollars on the planet for everyone, Stevie Spring, chief executive of Future, said, in her opening remarks for yesterday’s session at the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress that looked at ‘what advertisers want’.
Magazines are ‘all having to fight much much harder to grow our share of media spend,’ she added. So, she asked, just ‘what the hell’ did advertisers want from magazines?
Nikolas Talonpoika, worldwide media director for the Gucci Group said that he thinks online will see a decrease in advertising spend from the luxury sector.
Magazines are still the most important part of the Gucci Group’s print advertising spend, Talonpoika told delegates.
While acknowledging that this year is tough and ‘lots of titles will disappear this year, Talonpoika was optimistic for the role that print magazines will continue to play.
Unilever’s CMO, Simon Clift said that for his company the ‘lion’s share’ of advertising is in television, and only 13 per cent of its overall advertising budget is spent in print – but said the magazines accounted for 90 per cent of that print spend.
Clift said that his company – which, with its £41 billion turnover, is seeing three quarters of its growth in developing and emerging markets – is thinking about different ways to promote its products via print.
For example, one Greek newspaper was once printed entirely on aromatised paper for one particular washing product campaign.
Clift said that consumers were not beginning to ‘define the agenda’ and that Unilever was looking for new ways to promote brands via editorial or advertorial content.
Clift argued that these methods ‘can build integrity rather than compromise it,’ he argued. Joking that advertising was something editors have to put up with, he said advertisers don’t want to see a publication damaged by the advertising. ‘A successful parasite doesn’t kill its host,’ he quipped.
It was about creating interesting content, he said ‘whether it comes from an editor or an advertiser’ “When those things [editorial and advertising] are parallel it magnifies and develops our message,” he said.
Dove is the Unilever brand which is most advertised in magazines, and a product which is an example of a cross-media promotion: online, in magazines and on television.
In the previous session, Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of the Publicis Groupe, spoke of the world ‘the ad agencies have to live in now, where a couple of words on a search engine page is sometimes considered by our client as more effective than a wonderful TV spot.’
Newspapers and magazines could not expect to retain their share in the advertising market, despite analysts’ more optimistic predictions for 2011, he said.
“We have to change and we do change each day. You have to adapt yourself to this new world,” he said.
“It’s not yet time for obituaries,” he claimed. “I’m a little bit shocked when I see print media forever discussing their own death,”
“Please always remember the small guy in the digital world – Bill Gates. He repeated loud and clear ‘content is king’ (…) and you [the magazine industry] own it.'”
“Would you go as often on the internet, if you could not find newspapers and your favourite magazines online?” he asked. “I don’t think print media is dead, quite the contrary,” Lévy added.
“Think what semantic can do when combined with marketing. Now is time to innovate.”
“You have to look at this as an opportunity to leverage new opportunities with the strength of your brand and your audiences,” he said.
Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales has announced the end of his ‘user-generated search engine’ project, Wikia Search.
Spotted by Justin Williams – The Sun has purchased ‘Natasha Richardson’ as Google keywords, following the death of the actress.
As raised when the Guardian mistakenly bought the search terms ‘Madeleine McCann’, how much is too much when it comes to search engine marketing?
Google’s decision to introduce advertising to the US version of Google News invalidates the companies arguments that their aggregation is fair use – the thoughts of Margaret Boribon from Copiepresse, speaking at today’s Digital News Affairs (DNA) conference.
Copiepresse won its case against the search engine giant for publishing and storing the newspaper group’s content without permission or offering payment. Google also removed the group’s content from its index – though the damages filed for (£39million) haven’t been finalised.
Boribon stands by the group’s original argument – Google News is an information portal, a filter between readers and news to the detriment of the newspapers’ own websites.
Plus – the opt-out system of Google News crawling sites is in contradiction with opt-in system of European legislation, adds Boribon.
Is she against aggregation? No – but aggregators must learn to respect content producers and their rights.
Speaker Nigel Baker from the Associated Press (AP) said the agency wants to see its content reused, but there must be control and a commercial model in place for this reuse.
“There are some aggregators out there who are helping themselves to content. It gets to a stage when they are more valuable and they have to negotiate proper deals with content providers or suffer the consequences,” said Baker.
But the age-old question rears its head:
Can news organisations afford to live without Google? What alternatives are they proposing?
Newspapers need to educate people that information has a value and producing it is a costly exercise – it can’t be given away for free, says Boribon.
But it is – and news content in particular has to be monetised quickly before, as Livestation’s Matteo Berlucchi said, ‘it dies on the vine’.
Perhaps a Creative Commons attribution/revenue share deal for news organisations content would work, adds Berlucchi, but you have to realise that the value of news is fleeting.
London-based MediaEquals made an approach to buy Google’s Print Ad scheme, which the search engine last week announced would close next month.
Despite partnering with more than 800 US newspapers, Google has decided to end its Print Ads scheme, which saw the search engine help partners run traditional print-based advertising campaigns.
According to a post on the search engine’s Let’s Take It Offline blog, the service wasn’t having the desired impact and resources behind the project will be reinvested in finding other revenue sources for publishers through Google’s products.
“We believe fair and accurate journalism and timely news are critical ingredients to a healthy democracy. We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content and attract new readers online. We have teams of people working with hundreds of publishers to find new and creative ways to earn money from engaging online content. AdSense, DoubleClick, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Earth, Google News and many other products are a part of our significant investments to innovate in this space,” said Spencer Spinnell in the post.
“These important efforts won’t stop. We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies.”
Google began trialling print advertising in 2005. The ads will no longer be available from February 28, though campaigns already planned will be run until March 31.