Media Giants Asking Google To Weight Its Content Higher

from the if-their-content-were-more-valuable... dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in the story from Ad Age, where a bunch of media giants have apparently been demanding that Google change its weighting algorithm, because they're upset at how low they appear, compared to other sites, including blogs. This is pretty amusing for a variety of reasons. A big part of the reason those media sites appear so low in the Google rankings is their own damn fault. For years, they tried to lock up the content behind paywalls and registration walls, and made their sites as un-user-friendly as possible. Thus, no one linked to them, they weren't a part of the conversation, and Google treated them exactly as it should. It's only now that those publications have realized the importance of the web that they're demanding that Google change to work with them? It seems more reasonable to simply point these media giants to an explanation of how the algorithm works, and tell them to get back to work creating a site that is more user friendly, with great original content, such that more people link to it. And then they'll be fine. But, apparently, that's just too much work.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Weird Harolds #2 Fan, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Fair! ;P

    If Google wants to accept obscene amounts of money in exchange for destroying any remaining trust in their business, then that's for them to decide. Besides, they'll be in good, "fair," august company such as Congress.

     

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  2.  
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    Easily Amused, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:46am

    Once again, it looks like corporate types are blustering about the wrong thing...

    I particularly like the example the exec used in his skewering of the algorithm.
    FTA- "He'd just run a search for Gaza, which had been at war with Israel since Dec. 27. Google returned links to outdated BBC stories, Wikipedia entries and even an anti-Semitic YouTube video well before coverage by the Times, which had an experienced reporter covering the war from inside Gaza itself."

    Well of course you will get a mishmash of irrelevant crap if you use a one word search term that covers the broadest context. Durrrrrr.... even using the most basic google-fu, such as "gaza war" or 'gaza news" would return much better results. God forbid someone looking for up to the minute news would actually use the page update limiter option.

    I am sick of everything being about the lowest common denominator. If you suck at SEO, your search results will suck. If you don't know how to use search tools, your search results will suck.

    Learn more, 'tard less.

     

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  3.  
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    Glurbie, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:47am

    Self-inflicted damage is leverage?

    The linked-story explains that the publishers are considering gaining leverage by increased use of ACAP.

    So, they would plan to hurt Google by removing themselves even more from search results? How does that hurt Google, when Google clearly isn't dependent on the publishers as it is?

     

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  4.  
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    Cipher-0, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Irony

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

    You mean like the RIAA and MPAA do off the artists who actually create the works?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:54am

    This is hilarious. Aren't these the same media dinosaurs that are whining how Google 'steals' content by linking to it? Now the are crying about how Google doesn't link to their content? Make up your minds guys.

     

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  6.  
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    Confused, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:57am

    I am confused. Are the media giants who claimed their businesses were being ruined by Google linking to their content now complaining that their businesses are being ruined by not linking to their content enough?

     

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  7.  
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    Avatar28, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:16am

    re: Confused

    It would appear to be that way, yes. Sort of reminds me of the other story several days ago about the folks complaining about Google removing music videos after complaining about the videos being there.

    Apparently these record exec types live in quantum physics land where the videos and links are simultaneously both there and not there.

     

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  8.  
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    Rex, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:26am

    I hear another Firefox add-on coming on

    There is already the "Customize Google" Firefox add-on that helps with maintaining some level of search anonymity while improving search results by filtering the obvious Google spammers. ... don't search without it.

    Now, it comes to mind to add features to that add-on where you subscribe to an internet hosted list (see the subscription methods in the AdBlock Plus Firefox add-on) where all the big media companies are excluded or re-ordered to the bottom of page 9 (on a page of 100 results (configurable in "Optimize Google")) in the returned Google search results. When the internet sustains damage, it responds by re-routing around that damage.

    So, Google, go for it. Take their money and pressure. Secumbe to it. Whore yourself out to big media. Further devalue your brand. Compromise your credibility. ... And certainly, "Do No Evil".

    JMHO.

     

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  9.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:41am

    Google's results have all sorts of issues. It is easy enough to set up a semi-bomb and take over certain terms if you have the time and the desire. Their results are basically on popularity, which is another way of saying "whoever shouts the loudest is right".

    However, companies such as the times need to learn to compete with the rest of us.

    What is really objectionable in the results is entering the name of the movie and half of the first page is torrent sites. That sort of makes you wonder.

     

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  10.  
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    Booger, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    I just tried 10 recent hit films and none, not a single one, had a torrent site on either the first or second page of results. I didn't go farther than that and I'm not a movie buff so, instead of calling you a liar, I'll simply ask... give an example please.

     

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  11.  
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    minijedimaster, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    However, companies such as the times need to learn to compete with the rest of us.


    What is really objectionable in the results is entering the name of the movie and half of the first page is torrent sites. That sort of makes you wonder.


    What makes me wonder is how you can contradict yourself so thoroughly in two back to back sentences without noticing. Why do the "Times" have to learn to compete with the rest of us and not the "movie studios" or the "record labels". If you type in a movie name and the top results are torrent sites then that says to me that they're doing a much better job competing on the net than the sources of the product, whether it be a movie or music.

     

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  12.  
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    Nathania, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:05am

    I wrote this over at Search Engine Watch: "I have just one question for the publishers. 'If Google came to you and asked you only for favorable coverage of their brand, would you give it to them?'"

     

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  13.  
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    Eric Goldman (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Interesting juxtaposition...

     

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  14.  
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    Matti Mulari, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Ridigulous

    Here is a good example on how google links to news etc..
    I have iGoogle and techdirt is one of the gadgets on it as are various news feeds. Don't really need to search for the news. Confused is right in his remark about the same people saying that Google was "stealing" news. A bunch of Idiots.

     

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  15.  
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    who?, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re: Irony

    AMEN!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re:

    Harold doesn't give proof, or offer facts. Just opinion.

     

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  17.  
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    RD, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Once again.....'Tard

    "What is really objectionable in the results is entering the name of the movie and half of the first page is torrent sites. That sort of makes you wonder."

    Maybe thats because THATS WHAT PEOPLE WANT? If you continually DONT give the customer what they want, they will FIND SOMETHING ELSE. You cant litigate or make laws to FORCE people to buy your stuff. I know, I know, thats what you and your industry buddies WANT, but it doesnt work like that.

     

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  18.  
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    Gatewood Green (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    Quoting Harold: Their results are basically on popularity, which is another way of saying "whoever shouts the loudest is right".

    Not quite right. It is more a matter of whoever gets the most *other* people shouting the loudest wins. Link backs count for most of your popularity and link backs from other people/sites with more link backs to themselves count even higher. It is a highly simplistic overview, but let's at least give something of a correct structure when using that explanation as an example.

    And please give examples of your search terms exactly as you gave them to google so we can determine if your assessment of torrent site rankings is accurate. I can write searches that will forces those sites to the top of my results, but I doubt (based on my own experience) that they would occur there often on more simplistic searches.

     

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  19.  
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    I heart weird harold, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 10:57am

    "What is really objectionable in the results is entering the name of the movie and half of the first page is torrent sites. That sort of makes you wonder."

    What's there to wonder? Users have decided that those are the most relevant site. What are you implying? Conspiracy?

     

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  20.  
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    Bob, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Let them spend their own Damn money!

    They can just go Advertise and get their sites up at the TOP all the damn time!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    If you don't like Google, go use Excite or Live Search or something. There are alternatives!

    Google's algorithms are based on patent 6285999, which takes a democratic view of the interwebs and assigns value based on organic number of links back to the originating point. If a media company can't get more people to link to the content, then it doesn't deserve an artificially high number. There are other search engines: live.com, yahoo.com, or excite.com. You can use them, I'll keep my google.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous of course, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 12:38pm

    What is true 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."


    So what is he saying, the only true content is content
    requiring payment, or that any free content must be
    stolen from the media "giants?" Both are false statments.

    Sounds like something he heard playing Bioshock.

     

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  23.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    "What is really objectionable in the results is entering the name of the movie and half of the first page is torrent sites. That sort of makes you wonder."

    You really don't know when to stop making stupid claims, do you?

    Anything to back this up, like maybe a screenshot of what you're finding when you search? Because what you just said has no bearing on reality from where I'm sitting.

    Otherwise, this is just another stupid attack from WH on... well, I'm not sure who you're attacking this time. Google? Well, Google are popular for a reason, and you do have a choice as to who you use to search. If you find a competitor to Google to have more useful search results, why aren't you using them instead? If not, what's your problem?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I just googled three different current release movies,
    there wasn't a single torrent on any of the first pages
    pages returned. I'm calling BS on this claim.

     

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  25.  
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    Dave, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Google vs. Google News

    Isn't that the whole point of Google News?

    Filter out the wikipedia entries and bloggers and you get content from trusted news sources.

    What more do they want?

     

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  26.  
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    Matt T., Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Irony

    Zing!

     

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  27.  
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    Dan, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    It's a free market

    If the media companies want to start their own search engine they are welcome to do so. In the mean time we get tired of their schizophrenic bitching. First its listing their content then complain about the ranking.

     

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  28.  
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    An English Teacher, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Easily Amused

    Thank you! There IS a reason English teachers and librarians spend so much time pounding the concept of "key words" into students' heads. (Hint: It's not because we're dying to read another 10pg paper about the about WWII or the importance of recycling.)

     

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


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