Are British Papers Going To Start Demanding Payments From Drudge?

from the this-is-a-local-paper,-for-local-people dept

While some British newspapers have realized that Google (and other sites that send them traffic) are helpful to them, there are still plenty that feel like Google should be paying them, for some reason. It's a strange argument: Google sends them traffic and readers, yet should be paying for that "privilege"? If the papers can't figure out how to monetize the traffic Google and other sites send them, that's their own problem. Now comes word, though, that The Drudge Report sends UK papers more than three times the amount of traffic that Google does -- so will the papers start making noise about suing Drudge for a cut of his ad revenue? The editorial director of a UK news outfit illustrates the backwards mentality some papers have by saying "You are just paying an awful lot of bandwidth and an awful lot of server costs to serve those people." Well, if that's such a concern, why have a web presence at all? That would drive bandwidth and server costs down to pretty much zero. Instead of seeing international visitors and the additional traffic they generate as a burden, they should be seen for what they are -- an opportunity to further grow revenues and profits.

Filed Under: britain, media, newspapers
Companies: drudge report, google


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  • identicon
    Finchley, 1 Aug 2007 @ 7:03am

    Bigger Isn't Always Better

    Drudge and Google should remove those papers for a short period - perhaps a week or two - and see if the papers still feel as if the referrer should be paying them.

    Of course, the papers could argue that the advertisements they run on their web sites are designed for local audiences, and views of them by someone in the Colonies or elsewhere in the world does nothing for them except take up bandwidth.

    This is not a problem. The British print media is every bit as corrupt and stupid as much of the US print media. What we're seeing is the slow death of dinosaurs, and it has us all amazed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jeff, 1 Aug 2007 @ 7:16am

      Re: Bigger Isn't Always Better

      I fully agree. If a news agencies argument is that their ads are ineffective in other places in the world, they've got two options; 1) get the fuck off the Internet, or 2) stop spending all of your money suing entities like Drudge and Google and start spending it on building a better advertising department.

      I used to run a small web advertising network, determining, at the very least, the country a user is in when their browser requests an image is surely NOT the hardest thing to do.

      If no one on the insides of these news agencies has made suggestions like this...restaff, quick.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GoblinJuice, 1 Aug 2007 @ 7:19am

    Drudge merely copies the title - or provides his own - and links to the article. Google, otoh, provides a snippet of the article.

    I guess, maybe, that's the difference.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Hulser, 1 Aug 2007 @ 9:02am

      Re:

      Drudge merely copies the title - or provides his own - and links to the article. Google, otoh, provides a snippet of the article. I guess, maybe, that's the difference.
      This is a very good point. The "snippet" that Google makes available on its news page looks to be about 30 to 40 words. With the short attention span of many web readers, this may be all that many people would want to read. They might get all of the information they want from the snippets without ever having to follow the link to the full news story.

      Based on my own experience, I read far more of the snippets than I do the linked articles. If this holds true for most other people, then the Google audience is deriving quite a bit of value from content that is generated by somebody other than Google.

      Personally, I think that the news content providers get more out of the deal than they lose, but I believe that it should be acknowledged that the snippets do replace some of the traffic that would otherwise have been directed to the original source site.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jamie, 1 Aug 2007 @ 1:06pm

        Re: Re:

        If that is really the issue, then why are they complaining about the bandwidth. Bandwidth is only a problem if people are actually clicking through to read the full article. People who are reading the Google snippet only, are not going to significantly affect your bandwidth.
        I agree with you that many people never click through and only read the snippet. I disagree with you on whether it replaces some of the traffic that would have gone to the original site. I rather doubt that most of the people who are just reading the snippets would have ever gone to the original site. Mainly because I doubt those people would have even noticed most of those stories if it weren't for the snippet. I expect that far more people come to the site as a result of Google news, than would have without it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2007 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >why are they complaining about the bandwidth
          Yep. The argument about bandwidth is pretty much groundless if you ask me. "There are a bunch of people visiting our site! Oh, the humanity!"

          >I disagree with you on whether it replaces some of the
          >traffic that would have gone to the original site.
          Just because, on balance, a news site gets more traffic than it loses doesn't mean it doesn't lost "some".

          Say that I'm a reader of the online version of the Sydney Morning Herald. Even though Google News may link to many stories on the SMH web site, I may like the format of Google News more, so I switch my home page to GN. Now the Sydney Morning Herald has one less set of eyeballs on its main page, along with all the wonderful ads. Yes, I may be more likely to link back to the SMH, but by definition the odds are much lower that I will do so if my first stop is Google News.

          I do think the news providers are losing some traffic, but I think the news providers have tunnel vision on this relatively small percentage. They should be looking at the overall effect.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jamie, 1 Aug 2007 @ 7:24am

    This is so stupid

    At a time when most web sites are practically begging for traffic, it seems very short sighted to complain about too much traffic.

    If the site is only for their local paying customers, then put it behind a pay wall. It will quickly be pulled from drudge and traffic from Google will drop as well. It really isn't that hard to lose traffic if you really don't want it.

    If they don't want to make money off their website, then shut the website down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kate, 1 Aug 2007 @ 7:41am

    What about ads?

    This is a great opportunity to solicit more companies to advertise with them. It'll make them a lot more than they could ever manage to squeeze out of Google. Not to mention... isn't that the point of web traffic? Premium ad space?

    Oh well, some people just shouldn't have technology available to them...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JohnnyGTO, 1 Aug 2007 @ 8:49am

    Dang, I was introduced to these papers through Drudge, they should be paying HIM for all the free advertising and "product placement". Go get'em Matt!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ham Sandwich, 1 Aug 2007 @ 9:33am

    Are British Papers Going To Start Demanding Paymen

    can I get some mustard please?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 1 Aug 2007 @ 10:21am

    The Drudge ..

    .. is such a horrible worthless site anyways .. *grins*
    Seems a little biased if you ask me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      GoblinJuice, 1 Aug 2007 @ 10:57am

      Re: The Drudge ..

      Yes, he has a bias. Listen to his radio show for proof.

      However, he doesn't seem to suppress "bad" news about Republicans. I actually think he gets a perverse pleasure out of exposing baaad Republicans. =D

      There's the DrudgeRetort and the Daily Kos and, god, a dozen other sites. Oh, and InfoWars / PrisonPlanet for the truly paranoid. heh.

      I like FreeRepublic, but... eh... that's me. =) (Compare FR to Drudge. I dare you to tell me Drudge is more biased. =P)

      Even if you despise Drudge and his site, it's good to know what the majority of people are reading.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Woadan, 1 Aug 2007 @ 1:15pm

    Hey Finch. The US is a country, not a group of colonies. We haven't been for over 2 centuries, in case you've forgotten The US Revolutionary War...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 2 Aug 2007 @ 6:18am

    Re #10 GoblinJuice

    Very well sad and oh so very true.
    I will have to check out the other sites, have not even read much on Drudge, just had a roomy who was obsessed with reading everything from there as the end all be all. Republican fan boys cheese me off. Democratic fan boys cheese me off too, just for the record. I really hate both parties.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 2 Aug 2007 @ 6:52am

    Newspapers need these type sites

    I work with print publishers in promoting new products and sections, these type sites do nothing but help traffic and exposure. Newspaper publishers don't like to admit it but most are not the big boy on the block anymore. They must market the web products just like the rest of us. As for the the local vs. out of region viewers/readers, buy a better ad server and shut up. Give me 10% of all new revenue and I can show them how to monitize the eyeballs.

    How many of us would have ever known about Clay Akins fighting with an old women on a play on his way to Tulsa, Ok,(where)if not for Drudge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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