from the hypocrisy-in-action dept
Danny Sullivan comes to the rescue by pointing out that while Cuban is telling sites that Google traffic is worthless, he's invested in Mahalo, an aggregator site that lives off of Google traffic and still tries to do some similar aggregation efforts, such as IceRocket.com (which is a direct competitor to Google News... though no one uses it). Meanwhile, an old interview dug up by Michael Arrington has Cuban talking about how much he'd like to invest in TechMeme -- a similar aggregator. Clearly, Cuban is playing some sort of trick on media companies.
The thing that I can't figure out is what sort of trick he's playing. He's simply wrong about Google traffic being worth nothing. While much of Google traffic might not convert to regular users, enough of them do to matter. But, even more to the point, we've found that the ads shown on archive articles (i.e., those found via Google searches) tend to get a much higher number of clicks than those shown on front page articles. And it's pretty obvious why once you think about it. People coming from Google are searching for something -- and so they'll look around your whole page, meaning that they don't suffer from the same sort of ad blindness that regular visitors do.
Sullivan posits a conspiracy theory that even he doesn't believe in, that by getting news publishers to pull out of Google News it could help Cuban's investments, but even he admits that seems pretty far-fetched. So is Cuban just really really confused or is he playing at some game?