The press, Google, its algorithm, their scale

“In their fight against Google, traditional media firmly believe the search engine needs them to refine (and monetize) its algorithm. Let’s explore the facts.”

Interesting demonstration by Frederic Filloux on Monday Note showing that the battle of the European press against Google might be based on collective myopia on their side. Though European media publishers might think different, facts show that “for Google, the most data-driven company in the world, having newspapers articles in its search system is no more than small cool stuff.

So then why is Google fighting back? 

Even though the data Filloux presents show the monetization of news is very marginal for Google, there’s another argument to that story: comprehensiveness. Yes, Google could easily shut down Google News and wouldn’t feel worse financially for it. But indexing news content for its Search business is however critical, no matter how small a direct revenue stream it creates for them. As Google understood by constantly developping it, a good Search engine needs to index everything. Remove news from Search results, you end up with a broken tool.

Where this gets even more interesting in my opinion is when you add Social to it. Google has been pushing Google+ content and social signals in search results and this is not just an algirithm this time: these are real people sharing and curating content, some of it form European media publishers. Facebook’s Zuckerberg also said he was looking at Search as an opportunity. So while now, this seems to be abiout not letting an algorithm index media for free, how about tomororw? Will all European press titles remove the share buttons they have on their sites?

See on www.mondaynote.com

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