June 13th, 2006

Google Is Killing the Economics of Content

by

When Seth Jayson at Motley Fool suggested the other day that Google’s AdSense is killing the internet by driving the creation of sites that exist solely to squeeze money from AdSense, many people scoffed. But here’s more evidence that he’s right:

A venture-backed Waltham company that’s quietly amassed more than 650,000 Internet domain names is stepping out of stealth mode today and unveiling its plans to build a substantial Boston-area Web 2.0 business around the emerging field of “direct navigation.”

The company, called NameMedia, is being led by Kelly P. Conlin , 46, a veteran media executive who previously had been chief executive of International Data Corp. in Boston and Primemedia Inc. in New York. NameMedia has already hired 75 people in its office near Route 128 to buy, sell, and develop businesses around Internet domain names.

NameMedia, which already is profitable, says it owns more Internet domain names than any other party and draws more than 25 million consumers monthly to its vast collection of websites. It makes money when computer users type the name of one of its sites, such as photography.com, bookstore.com, or jobfinder.com, into the Internet address bar and then click on advertising links.

Here is a new term to line up next to “click fraud” — “direct navigation.” Here’s what this means:

People have been buying up Internet domain names since the early 1990s, though most of the early speculators were “domain parkers” or “cybersquatters” who owned static websites. As companies like Google and Yahoo deployed technology to monetize Internet traffic through advertising, some of those website owners were able to piggyback on their success by hosting advertising links. The sites attract traffic because millions of Internet surfers bypass search engines and type domain names directly into address bars.

The sites were talking about here are NOT about content and they are NOT about serving web users in any meaningful way — they exist for one purpose — pay-per-click ad revenue.

Here’s an example of one of NameMedia’s properties: Photography.com

When you got to the site, it appears to be content-based:

Photography Home

But when you click on a category, you find that it is nothing but a pay-per-click link farm:

Photography Camera

If you click on one of the ads, you’ll catch a glimpse of an Overture domain on the way to the company website, suggesting that this is actually a Yahoo link farm.

Here’s what the CEO of NameMedia has to say:

“The analogy we use is real estate,” Conlin said in an interview. “Our objective is to build the largest portfolio of undeveloped real estate on the Internet. Some of the sites we have will be held for resale. The best ones, the waterfront properties, we’ll build businesses around. It’s a content-light, user- friendly way for people to find what they want.”

“Content-light”

Pay-per-click advertising is destroying the economics of content, making it more profitable to create entire sites with nothing but ads.

Why bother with the expense of creating content? Google certainly doesn’t care. And the advertisers dumping billions of dollars into AdWords and similar ad networks don’t seem to care where their ads appear. It’s all about the click.

The media business has been reduced to pure transaction.

Just read NameMedia’s description of their “business”:

NameMedia’s core business is creating value when consumers and online advertisers connect.

It’s all about “consumers” and “advertisers.” No need for content. No need for an intermediary.

“Direct navigation” is a euphemism for navigating around content and right to ads.

What happens when the web becomes one big network of ads?

UPDATE

I should add that this phenomenon also threatens the economics of Web 2.0 — at least for those companies that are betting on advertising as a revenue model. Web applications and user-generated content are just more intermediaries to be “navigated” around.

Note to Web 2.0: Welcome to the wonderful world of post-Google media.

UPDATE #2
First, yes, of course this phenomenon is not new and not limited to Google’s pay-per-click ad network — Google is merely emblematic.

That said, in response to some of the assertions below that this is really not a big deal, here’s some data to chew on from the original article:

Within the world of Web 2.0, the name coined for the second wave of businesses to capitalize on the Internet, direct navigation, sometimes called direct search or ‘searching without a search engine,” is considered one of the fastest-growing niches. It is projected to generate $650 million in sales this year in the United States, about 7.5 percent of all search revenue, much of it from revenue sharing with search engines like Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. on paid placement ads hosted on its sites, said Jordan Rohan , an Internet stock analyst for RBC Capital in New York.

Rohan estimates that revenue pool could double in the next three years if direct navigation companies like NameMedia can refine their processes and develop e-commerce portals on their sites.

Hmm…$650million, 7.5 percent of all search advertising revenue, projected to double over the next three years — doesn’t sound all that trivial.

And “domaining,” as Danny Sullivan calls it below, has taken on a new life in the larger ecosystem of search marketing that Google pioneered, where all value accrues to the transaction. The economics of search are not based on how useful the information is to the consumer but rather on the efficiency with which the consumer can be connected with a prospective seller.

Dave Winer thinks it’s good news that the old media system is being destroyed because now everyone can have a voice — from the standpoint of democracy, that’s great, but it does not bode well for the economic wellbeing of long tail of publishers.

Comments (66 Responses so far)

  1. [IMG]Publishing 2.0: Google Is Killing the Economics of Content

  2. Google Is Killing the Economics of Content

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  5. Hiding in Plain Sight, Google’s Seeks More Power – New York Times Google finally puts Picasa albums on the Web | News.blog | CNET News.com Thoughts on VoIP, technology… and more: Thunderbird VoIPPublishing 2.0 � Google Is Killing the Economics of Content TechCrunch � Blog Archive � Flock Raises New Venture Round, Launches Public Beta Microsoft’s deja-vision of the future | yelvington.com Read/WriteWeb: eBay Wiki – world’s largest commercial wiki launched

  6. to go down that route for at least some of its major domains. Eventually, these URLs will become real Websites, but for now the real estate barrons who are buying them up are treating them like parking lots. Update: (For more discussion, seePublishing 2.0, Scripting News, and Bubblegeneration).

  7. ItÂ’s all about the click After reading this Boston.com piece on no-longer-stealth NameMedia, Scott Carb thinks thatGoogle Is Killing the Economics of Content: When Seth Jayson at Motley Fool suggested the other day that GoogleÂ’s AdSense is killing the internet by driving the creation of sites that exist solely to squeeze money from AdSense, many people scoffed.

  8. Google Is Killing the Economics of Content (Publishing 2.0) Celebrity life cycle (Popjournalism Blog) A Productive Survey (Paul Holmes) Heath Ledger apologizes to Howard Stern (The Superficial) How to Write for a Blog (Bad Language) Technorati tags:

  9. (The Motley Fool) titled How Google is Killing the Internet that’s a must read for anybody interested in splogs, link farms, and scraper sites. Is Google killing the Internet? Comment I left on Scott’s site >> go, join the conversation

  10. sound of a trading floor for people trading in today’s electronic exchanges, or for people who have undergone multiple voice cord operations from screaming at other people on the floor and miss the action. Sadly I can’t find a sample. (via the WSJ) “The media business has been reduced to pure transaction.” Domaining” the name for creating fake websites filled with search ads. A really good article about how Google’s AdSense is creating an environment where companies like NameMedia which owns 650,000 domain names will undermine the Internet.

  11. with news articles submitted by users and expanded on by bloggers. Google NYC Google Maps Mashup Roundup Google launchs a federal government search site. Washington Post says it may have the edge over the MSN Firstgov.gov search site. Google is Killing the Economics of Content by driving the creation of sites that exist solely to squeeze money from Adsense. Hiding in Plain Sight, Google Seeks More Power Google Fatigue Sets In The Economist looks for The Un-Google in the lucrative market for web search

  12. Is Google killing the Internet? Seth Jayson at Motley Fool claims Google is killing the Internet by making Web spam and click fraud profitable. Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 contends, “Pay-per-click advertising is destroying the economics of content, making it more profitable to create entire sites with nothing but ads.” Dave Winer misses the point by arguing (correctly) that at least people are no longer beholden to media

  13. Google Is Killing the Economics of Content

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  15. [IMG ●エギングとメバリングの釣果&タックル紹介●]   管理人=イカロックフィッシャー   山陰(島根県)でイカとロックフィッシュに狙いを定めて, 主に釣り方と釣果日記。

  16. No. 53

  17. Publishing 2.0 about type-ins/ parked domains

  18. I recently formulated an interesting idea for startup. This morning I hit on a really great name for the company. Unfortunately every domain variant related to the word I want to use has been purchased and whored out by pay-per-click link farm media companies

  19. on Avatar based marketing. It really gets to the crux of how companies need to engage users in new modes of entertainment such as MMORGs and Virtual Worlds. I contrast the HBR piece with Scott Karp’s post which is entitled Google is Killing the Economics of Content. There have been a ton of comments on Scott’s post which I encourage you to read but I will add my two cents anyway. I agree with little of what Scott wrote but I will point out two glaring issues:

  20. with news articles submitted by users and expanded on by bloggers. Google NYC Google Maps Mashup Roundup Google launchs a federal government search site. Washington Post says it may have the edge over the MSN Firstgov.gov search site. Google is Killing the Economics of Content by driving the creation of sites that exist solely to squeeze money from Adsense. Hiding in Plain Sight, Google Seeks More Power Google Fatigue Sets In The Economist looks for The Un-Google in the lucrative market for web search

  21. It says here that Google is killing the economics of content, in the main because it makes it profitable to build a site with nothing buts ads. The disconnect for me is that the writer sounds as if that’s something new and different, something we haven

  22. It says here that Google is killing the economics of content, in the main because it makes it profitable to build a site with nothing buts ads. The disconnect for me is that the writer sounds as if that’s something new and different, something we haven

  23. This company is a carbon-copy of another company in Seattle called Marchex. They are fairly large — public in fact — and they also use the term “direct navigation” as a more positive sounding euphemism for “accidental patronage”. If you’d like a blueprint for how this business may work out (good or bad), just look at what Marchex has done over the last couple of years.

  24. [...] Publishing 2.0 analyzes the industries that have cropped up from the Adsense/PPC industry.  Namely, the creation of sites just for the purpose of displaying Adsense ads, and “direct navigation” sites which are just parked domains. [...]

  25. Hmmm. I’m not sure this is as dire as you indicate.

    First, blaming Google for link farms is sorta like blaming VCRs for Jim Carrey films. Google isn’t creating the link farms. They just provided an environment where things like link farms can exist.

    However, it’s a rich environment and natural selection will eventually take over. Link farms like Photography.com don’t offer as much value as, say, dpreview.com. My thinking is the truly interested consumer will gravitate to latter over the former.

    Second, it doesn’t seem to have much impact on the flow of things. A search for the term Photography on Google doesn’t put Photography.com in the top 10 links. Instead, all the natural listings are sites with rich content (not pure link farms), therefore supporting my natural selection idea: better sites will prevail.

    To compete against the rich-content sites, the link farms would have to spend more money than they make from the links for high ad placements. It doesn’t seem justified.

    In the long run, Photography.com is nothing more than a lucky domain squatter. Eventually, someone is going to want that URL and will offer NameMedia a price that is worth more than the limited adsense revenue they will generate. Then the game will be over.

    That’s how I see it.

  26. [...] Scott Karp says that Google is killing the economics of content, which is sensationalist, and only important if you care about “content,” not so important if you care about accurate transmission of information and points of view. [...]

  27. Scott, more like welcome to the world of domaining. And actually, it’s been going on for years. The pioneer in the space was probably Applied Semantics, with along with Overture, for years helped those with good domain names monetize them with paid links. It’s not a Web 2.0 thing. It’s not a oh-Google-created it thing. But it certainly has Google involved in a big way, since they bought Applied Semantics back in 2003. If you want some further background, see Search Engines Making Millions Off Type-In Traffic From Domains and Google AdSense For Domains Program Overdue For Reform — And Yahoo & Microsoft Should Also Take Note from my blog.

    To be fair, the idea these are destroying content sites doesn’t really hold water. So what if photography.com is auto-generated. Who is going there? People who type in photography.com into their address bar, who have learned that often this brings up a site on the topic they want. Plenty of people do this, but far more are performing actual searches on search engines, where entering photography as a word brings up sites that generally aren’t auto-generated. These sites still get rewarded.

    Moreover, this domaining isn’t new and Web 2.0 publishing (whatever that is, aside from a fun argument over trademarks) seems to have thrived despite it, I don’t think ringing the alarm bells that the end is near holds up.

    The biggest problem with domaining is simply that despite their policies, the search engines do seem lax in allowing typo domains to get monetized. They need to fix that, definitely.

  28. [...] It says here that Google is killing the economics of content, in the main because it makes it profitable to build a site with nothing buts ads. The disconnect for me is that the writer sounds as if that’s something new and different, something we haven’t had before, something that Google has recently enabled. [...]

  29. [...] Killing the economics of content [...]

  30. [...] Scott Karp says that Google is killing the economics of content, which is sensationalist, and only important if you care about “content,” not so important if you care about accurate transmission of information and points of view. [...]

  31. I didn’t say it’s good news, I said it’s much ado about not very much.

    And that proves my point — so much is lost in transmission, even when the intent is good. And sometimes the intent is anything but good.

  32. Like many I was at one time a big fan of Google. I still am a fan of their innovation and drive, but at what cost does this come? I believe that Google is not only sacrificing their core compentency of search in exchange for corporate growth, but that they are also violating some of the pricinciples that made them a great company to begin with.

    This internal conflict is evidenced when you read Googles Philosophy which talks about it’s guiding principals such as “It’s best to do one thing really, really well” or “Democracy on the web works.”

    Google could easily have their cake and eat it too, but when you are the 800 pound gorilla I guess it’s just easier to feather your own nest even at the expense of your own values and mission.

    I no longer use Google as my search engine of preference.

  33. Dave, perhaps it was your referring to Old Media economics as a “horrible system” that led me to infer the converse, which is that the passing of the old system is “good news.”

    And it’s rather blase to suggest that, good or bad, the unwinding of an industry’s decades-old economics is “much ado about not very much.” I would argue that the consequences for companies, employees of those companies, consumers of information, and Democracy with a big D, again whether good or bad, are indeed quite significant.

  34. [...] Good piece by Publishing 2.0 » (Google Is Killing the Economics of Content) on how Google’s AdSense is killing the internet by driving the creation of sites that exist solely to squeeze money from AdSense. Here’s how it works in brief, based on Robert Weisman’s piece in The Boston Globe : [...]

  35. What are the trends in direct navigation? As people become more experienced in using the internet, do they use search engines more often and abandon “direct navigation?” I would think so.

    In addition, how do the conversion rates compare for these sites vs. content sites? If they are lower, either ppc rates will drop or advertisers will demand an easy way to be excluded from these sites. Now that search engines are learning to evaluate the quality of a website, it shouldn’t be too hard to:

    __ Check here to only advertise on high-quality websites.

    Both of these factors should reduce the profitability of domaining over the next few years.

  36. Google didn’t pioneer search marketing. Search marketers, individual search marketers, pioneered search marketing before Google existed or became a serious force in search.

    I think you mean they pioneered search advertising, payment for placement. If so, they didn’t. That’s Overture, now Yahoo, that pioneered paid search placement. Google simply expanded upon what they already started. Overture deserves the credit, especially as they were the first to push ahead despite the fall out over the real pioneer, Open Text’s experiment in 1996.

    With respect, Scott, saying “economics of search are not based on how useful the information is to the consumer but rather on the efficiency with which the consumer can be connected with a prospective seller” demonstrates that you don’t understand how search engines work.

    Search engines have never, ever always listed the best sites with information in their top results. Many great sites are indeed there. Many bad ones slip through, by both overt means of those working to increase rankings and also passive ones in that the search engines are not perfect creatures.

    But actually, search — I mean real search, where you enter words and get results — does remain tied to ensuring the consumer is pleased, not the advertiser. If you have poor relevancy, especially because you bend to please advertisers, you lose traffic. Ask Lycos about this. You remember Lycos, a former top search engine that just couldn’t keep its eye on relevancy.

    Direct navigation, domaining, can be akin to search by those who are entering words into their address bars to fulfill a search desire, rather than a navigational one (I want to reach a specific site). Well hey, that’s not the search engines’ problem that people do this. You don’t get to photography.com by entering only “photography” into IE or Firefox. You have to consciously think, hmm, I want something about photography — I know — I’ll put photography + .com together. That’s not a smart user choice, in my view — but it’s a user choice, not your choice, not my choice nor something they were forced or tricked to do. And if it isn’t working well, then guess what? People will stop doing it. So the system will correct itself.

    As for “it’s rather blase to suggest that, good or bad, the unwinding of an industry’s decades-old economics,” which decades old economics are you talking about here. The web’s? It’s barely over one decade old, and it has had economic shifts all the time. Banners, Amazon affiliate links, AdSense. Seems to carry on just fine.

    Finally, “pay-per-click advertising is destroying the economics of content, making it more profitable to create entire sites with nothing but ads.” OK, so the CPM-based Feedburner delivered ad at the bottom of your post is OK, but pay per click is bad? And all those sites that grew out of having good content plus AdSense — that’s a downside?

    AdSense and similar programs fuel a lot of spam and junk on the web, absolutely. I’m sick of it myself, and people have been complaining about it for ages. But they’re also, to be fair, helping fuel a lot of good content. Basically, I see plenty of bad advertising fueled junk in the offline world, product placement increasing in movies, ads on cable channels despite me paying subscription fees. I’m glad you think the web and Web 2.0 is supposed to be some type of nirvana where the normal pressures don’t apply. I wish — and do hope — it won’t grow to be as bad as offline. But I’m also realistic. There are downsides to everything, but those downsides don’t necessarily spell out disaster.

  37. [...] Update: (For more discussion, see Publishing 2.0, Scripting News, and Bubblegeneration). [...]

  38. Rather than bad versus good, it seems like a question of valuation. The real problem is that the market for auctioned keywords is inflated and the has yet to correct itself based on a lack of transparency. There are uses to link farms but transparent and efficient market dynamics are slowing the speed at which true advertisers and marketers understand the dissonance between what they pay for a click and what it’s worth. Thus link farms are more profitable in the short term than they eventually will be.

  39. [...] over, we’ll be staring at a far larger opportunity in professional services produced at the edge. # // David G // 4:12 PM   Perhaps you are missing one of the reasons why the Googleversalor something has to empower the masses on the edge. Any ideas about who or what that might be? # // PhoneRanger // 4:21 PM   How about the real/honest content producers? As advertisersthat rely on adsense are loosing a lot since they are put by google on the same bag as scrappers. # // aNtonio // 4:42 PM   Post aComment [...]

  40. Danny, that’s a lot to digest (including your always useful correction of my misuse of terms), but let me go to the key issue: the economics of search.

    When I say the economics of search, I don’t mean the utility of search results, I mean how Google (as the principal example) maximizes revenue.

    Is it not true that the objective of AdWords is to maximize the amount of revenue Google receives for each click, as a function of both the amount bid and the likelihood that someone will actually click? If so, isn’t true then that this revenue maximizing strategy means that the ads that work best for Google do not necessarily deliver to consumers the products that best fit their needs? There is a some correlation between the utility of the ads to consumers, but the objective is not to maximize utility of the ads because the amount bid is a key variable.

  41. Great minds think….. disalike?…

    Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 draws a similar connection as I do…Scott refers to Seth Jayson’s piece at the Motley Fool recently about Google’s economic model "killing" the content based internet.  He then makes the same connection as…

  42. [...] It’s All About the Click? [...]

  43. The transmission, flow, and context of information is certainly changing quickly. The use of ‘direct navigation’ to a ad is a trick to interrupt the flow to the value content, similar to the way the TV commercial interrupted broadcast content. It’s ultimately doomed for the same reasons.

    However, it’s not hard to envision a near future when the network of ad sites becomes the preferred high ranking in a search on the major search sites. In this scenario the user would search for a term (looking for content) and Google would list direct navigation sites in the top 10 hits. The hapless user, following these links, would spend 5 minutes viewing ad sites before realizing they were all ads.

    The issue for the user is that direct navigation links, posing as content sites, are not authentic (and are evil). At least the old AdSense was more authentic; the user chose to follow the link looking for product information. (is product information different from an ad?)

    What happens when the web becomes one big network of ads? We’ll leave, of course.

    //

  44. Thank you for this post. As someone who has built a successful business by actually paying top-shelf content creators (and by licensing exisiting legacy content, often at very high prices) to create useful and interesting websites designed to inform, enlighten, and entertain people, it’s quite annoying to see these intermediary pages suck up so much ad revenue. Basically, all they do is provide a barrier between real content and real users.

    In the end, both they and my business are dependent on search engines (mostly Google) so it’s difficult to complain about these sites as Google clearly loves them for the clicks they generate. But in the end, it looks like a house of cards to me, and one that shakes consumers trust in the internet. A site like you show, photography.com just makes real sites look bad, as user frustration ultimately ensues when they realize the site is nothing more then a collection of ads.

  45. The object of AdWords is to make Google as much money as possible. My view. I doubt Google would be so blunt.

    Making the most money, fortunately, doesn’t mean necessarily selling to the highest bidder. Google uses a complicate formula of looking at bid, clickthrough rate, ad copy and even now landing page copy to determine if a searcher will consider an ad to be relevant. Relevant could mean useful to the searcher; could mean as measured by advertisers getting conversions; could mean Google making more money. Pick your explanation — the good news is, generally, just selling out to the highest bidder isn’t in anyone’s favor.

    Now when you talk of the economics changing, you seem to be saying that the current economics are for Google to ensure it favors itself first, even if that isn’t always helpful to the users. IE, fine, let eBay keep showing whatever ad comes up for whatever you search on, or fill those domains with ads, even if the users don’t care.

    Sure, I can generally hang with those current economics. Google will look out for itself, and while it is fortunately finding the best way to protect itself is to protect its searchers, it still might let some things slide. And by slide, you’d probably lump in domain traffic.

    That brings me back to what I said before. If domain traffic isn’t useful, searchers will stop deliberately going to these sites. Moreover, the conversion advertisers are getting will drop, and Google and others will be forced to give advertisers more choice over where their ads appear. We do have more grumblings over this stuff already, and it’s one reason Google finally — after years — gave people an easier ability to selectively choose contextual placement. But by and large, advertisers are not beating down Google’s doors on this issue. I think that will grow, but I think many of them likely will still find this traffic also does convert, even if at a less spectacular rate than true search. And if it keeps working for advertisers, it’s a big sign it’s working for these particular type of searchers, even if it’s not the way I’d do things. But then again, something like MySpace isn’t a fit for me. Different strokes.

    “The real problem is that the market for auctioned keywords is inflated and the has yet to correct itself based on a lack of transparency.”

    No, the market is grossly undervalued. Search — real search, where ads come up in response to search terms — is one of the most powerful forms of advertising out there. You are in a place where someone is telling you precisely what they want. Prices are climbing because advertisers are even better learning just how well it converts and the lifetime value of a searcher, once they’ve captured them. More transparency on where exactly ads appear would be great (and domaining, by the way, isn’t the same at all as link farms). But search ad prices will continue to rise, sucking money out of broadcast advertising which — given the piss-poor measuring it provides — is the place where values are really inflated.

    Now you argue that populating parked domains with ads is a change to the economics

  46. And sorry about that hanging sentence there at the end!

  47. Scott, you said “Dave Winer thinks…”

    And you don’t have any way of knowing that I think that, unless you either:

    1. Ask me, or

    2. I told you.

    You didn’t ask, and I didn’t say.

  48. [...] Leyendo este articulo de Motley Fool tan negativo y critico con Google y los consiguientes 2 posts mas “blogosfericos” en Publishing 2.0, solo veo clara una cosa : [...]

  49. [...] Google, Wal-Mart and the Commons It’s funny how sometimes it all just comes together.A few days ago, I was quoting approvingly an analysis of how the prices of cheap food at places like Wal-Mart do not reflect the true costs – in terms of damage to the environment, local economies, small farmers etc. And now here is the deeply incomprehensible, but clearly perceptive Umair with some cognate thoughts about Google, its business model and PageRank (inspired by Scott Karp’s interesting but depressing posting on linkfarms):But, of course, there’s a loser in this game – there must be, since no attention value is created, but attention is being exchanged. In the end, it’s consumers, and, to a much smaller extent, advertisers. Consumers pay by spending attention to which returns are essentially zero, and advertisers pay with clicks whose propensity to consume isn’t very high (but not many of them will be so interested in that for another couple of years).Put another way, It is the expected value of attention of consumers which PageRank is supposed to, somewhat accurately, compute. But as long as there’s no real competition in search (and let’s be honest – there really isn’t), Google can keep shifting the costs of this arbitrage on to consumers.As Scott puts it, “the media business has been reduced to pure transaction”. That’s a brilliant statement – he’s exactly right. In fact, his statement parallels Mark Pincus’s very nice analogy from a few months back – Google as Wal-Mart. The dynamics are very much the same: scale economies are achieved by shifting costs elsewhere; at the expense of consumers, quality, etc.This naturally led me to the original Google as Wal-Mart posting:in fact, google feels a like walmart today. once the excitement over trying out their latest release wears off we are left with the realization that they are going to ultimately put the corner grocer (being craigslist) out of business, and suck value out of an economy not add back. and while it’s a beautiful day here in san francisco, it’s a sad one for me to see a company with so much promise to help the world, primarily focus on helping itself.do we really want this form of capitalism? where companies like msft, walmart and now google pacman up industries, turning founders into billionaires who then hopefully make big philanthropic donations back to the community. is this sustainable capitalism? yes we live in a free market and yes we can choose how to come together as ants. united we stand, divided we work for google and walmart. (Lack of captial letters not mine).And of course, it all fits together, it all makes sense. Commons sense, of course. [...]

  50. Me thinks “direct navigation” will also have a negative impact on Google – specifically, the value of their search results. People will turn to search engines (in the long run) that can filter out sites like photography.com. Social link networks like digg.com and del.icio.us will become more important to finding quality content over time. “Generic” search results might not have a long-term future.

    — Cale palmit.com

  51. None of this is new.

    In the offline world, we’ve had plenty of advertising-only publications of various sorts for a very long time. At the bottom of the barrel, we’ve got “Thrifty Nickel” classifieds, for example. 0 content, all ads.

    At the higher end, we have special-interest magazines (say, ones that cater to people restoring Craftsman bungalows) that people buy (at least in part) *because* of the ads for, say, period reproduction hardware.

  52. [...] TechDirt writes about it, Scott Karp says that Google is killing Internet’s economics of content, Dave Winer thinks it is changing the world in a right direction, while Yaro says that AdSense has gone too far. [...]

  53. [...] TechDirt writes about it, Scott Karp says that Google is killing Internet’s economics of content, Dave Winer thinks it is changing the world in a right direction, while Yaro says that AdSense has gone too far. [...]

  54. Frankly I don’t see how this is a bad thing. It is not pushed into your inbox – you need to type photography.com into the address bar to get there. And if you don’t know too much about internet and you really type photography.com into the address bar, it is more usefull if that page aggregates some photography related searches than if you got an ‘domain not found’ error. And PageRank should be immune for that. I don’t see where this can have negative utility.

    That said I do see how sites with domains made from common mistakes do decrease the value of the Net.

  55. (have not read every single post ahead of me, so this point might have been made already)

    What prevents Google, Yahoo et al. from detecting and treating linkfarms as such?
    I can’t see why this problem could not be addressed programmatically… , and sorry (or not so) for these unscrupulous businesses.

  56. Word of mouth is the #1 source of traffic–there’s nothing to worry about.

  57. [...] New levels of efficiency in the marketplace, marked with more subtle levels of complete inefficiencies. How long can they keep printing money before this wall falls down? [...]

  58. El Pay per clic y la internet absurda…

    Interesante artículo en Publishing 2.0, Google is killing the economics of content en el que desgrana varios ejemplos de la perversión del ecosistema del pay per clic y como se está autodestuyendo. Hace demasiado tiempo que tengo una sensación rara…

  59. [...] Original post by morrissey « Cambios en el foro: actualizacion a Vanilla 1.0 [...]

  60. [...] Google Is Killing the Economics of Content Una vision sobre las perjudiciales relaciones, segun el autor, de la produccion de contenido y de Adsense. (tags: adsense blogs) Agrega esta entrada a tus gestores de favoritos (social bookmarking):These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  61. [...] This sale of ad-ready content sites is part of what’s killing the economics of content. [...]

  62. [...] Publishing 2.0 » Google Is Killing the Economics of Content [...]

  63. [...] Google Is Killing the Economics of Content Una vision sobre las perjudiciales relaciones, segun el autor, de la produccion de contenido y de Adsense. (tags: adsense blogs) [...]

  64. [...] Seth Jayson at Motley Fool claims Google is killing the Internet by making Web spam and click fraud profitable. Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 contends, “Pay-per-click advertising is destroying the economics of content, making it more profitable to create entire sites with nothing but ads.” [...]

  65. [...] Update: (For more discussion, see Publishing 2.0, Scripting News, and Bubblegeneration). [...]

  66. [...] Google Is Killing the Economics of Content, Publishing 2.0 [...]

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