April 11th, 2009

How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links

by

There is so much misunderstanding flying around about the economics of content on the web and the role of Google in the web’s content economy that it’s making my head hurt. So let’s see if we can straighten things out.

Google isn’t stealing content from newspapers and other media companies. It’s stealing their control over distribution, which has always been the engine of profits in media. Google makes more money than any other media company on the web because it has near monopoly control over content distribution (i.e. like a metro newspaper in the pre web era).

Those who argue that Google is a friend to content owners because it sends them traffic overlook the basic law of supply and demand. The value of “traffic” is entirely relative. The more content there is on the web, the less value that content has — because of the surfeit of ad inventory and abundance of free alternatives to paid content — and thus the less value “traffic” has.

The more content there is on the web, the less money every content creator makes, and the more money Google makes by taking a piece of that transaction.

Nick Carr sums up the problem well:

What Google doesn’t mention is that the billions of clicks and the millions of ad dollars are so fragmented among so many thousands of sites that no one site earns enough to have a decent online business. Where the real money ends up is at the one point in the system where traffic is concentrated: the Google search engine. Google’s overriding interest is to (a) maximize the amount and velocity of the traffic flowing through the web and (b) ensure that as large a percentage of that traffic as possible goes through its search engine and is exposed to its ads.

The debate over whether Google’s excerpting content on its search result pages is a violation of copyright law, i.e. whether Google is effectively stealing content, overlooks the much more valuable asset that Google is appropriating. Google makes money less by its ability to display that snipet of content and much more by its ability to know that snipet of content is relevant to what the content consumer is looking for — it makes money by its ability to efficiently distribute that content.

And just how does Google know what content is most relevant, trustworthy, and valuable? How does Google know where to send the traffic that yields such diminishing returns?

Everyone talks about Google’s algorithms as if it were some giant artificial intelligence that had its own ability to judge the value of content.

The greatest irony of the web content economy is that Google by itself doesn’t have a clue what content is good or bad. Google is able to deliver relevant search results only because every site on the web helps them figure it out.

Google’s algorithm is based on reading “links” as votes for content. Every time a website links to another website, Google reads that link as a vote. The brilliance of the Google algorithm is its ability to figure out which votes should count more.

But without those links, without those “votes,” Google has nothing.

What Google “steals” from every website isn’t the content — it’s the links.

It’s the links, stupid. And everyone gives Google their links to read — for free!!

Google doesn’t really need your content, because there’s plenty more where it came from. What Google really needs is your links, i.e. your votes for content — it needs your help separating the wheat from the chaff on the web.

The backlash against URL shorteners and site framing (e.g. DiggBar) is all about who controls the links, and which links Google is going to read and credit.

The key to Google’s monopoly control over content distribution on the web is its ability to judge what’s most relevant in an increasingly large sea of content.

If media companies want to compete with Google, they need to look at the source of its power — judging good content, which enables Google to be the most efficient and effective distributor of content. They also need to look at Google’s fundamental limitation — its judgment is dependent on OTHER people expressing their judgment of content in the form of links. Above all, they need to look at sources of content judgment that Google currently can’t access, because they are not yet expressed as links on the web.

The balance of power on the web can shift — but only by understanding what the real sources of power are.

UPDATE

Just to clarify,  the use of “steal” and “stole’ is in the sense of “stole the game.” The point of this post is to explain how Google won, and not at all to suggest that they didn’t deserve to win. Google’s success is a direct reflection of how much value they create, i.e. A LOT — they solved a problem in the market that nobody else figure out how to solve or even recognized as the huge opportunity in the market. This post is also intended to help media companies understand better how Google works so that they can better compete in the web content marketplace, not to justify any feelings of “sour grapes.”

Comments (70 Responses so far)

  1. Here is a simple mechanism (feeds) I suggested 2 years ago… as a way for Google to “give back”… or distribute back… some of the awesome intelligence they gather by counting the original social gestures on the web – the links:
    http://sotirov.com/2007/02/10/new-tagging-service-from-google/

    But this, of course, would be a step towards less power for the Google “search box”… and Google would not do it without serious pressure from outside.

    May be, we can shame them into doing it… :)

    Or, they may decide that this has the potential of making them an even more powerful web infrastructure player – by complementing their current search hegemony with an ubiquitous distributed “discovery” service.

  2. Perhaps you should explain what “stealing links” mean.

    News publishers don’t “own” the links their products engender. They have no control over them at all. In fact, until their product is widely exposed there’s not even the possibility of links.

    So links are a byproduct of distribution, which today is most efficiently aggregated by Google and therefor own by Google in their algos. A single publisher’s ability to generate such links will always pale in comparison to an aggregator’s, like Google. IOW, links is an aggregation business not a publishing one.

    So who’s stealing whose “links”?

  3. “The key to Google’s monopoly control”

    It’s not a monopoly … yet.

    And I am uncomfortable with the word “stole.” Google didn’t “steal” anything. They provided something news media weren’t providing.

    and I don’t see providing “easier” access as “control of distribution” either, but that’s a minor point.

  4. @Bryan, every time someone goes to Google instead of directly to a content site, Google is controlling distribution. But you are quite right that Google provided something media companies weren’t, i.e. a way to sort through ALL the content on the web, while media companies only cared (and still largely only care) about their own content. I use the word “steal” somewhat facetiously, just because it’s been bandied about so much lately. They stole distribution not in the illegal stealing sense but rather in the “stole the game” sense.

  5. Perhaps a route to reducing Google’s influence lies in desktop applications (such as Adobe AIR-powered applications) that bypass the browser altogether, or in mobile applications (obvious example: iTunes App Store) that directly connect users to content providers they require.

    Actually, now that I took a moment to think about it, Chrome/Android/Gears are obvious defenses of Google’s business model against third-party applications. (Perhaps I’m a bit slow on that one.)

    I’d still opt for Google-as-middleman over, say, Murdoch/Viacom. Better a dis-interested (dare I call them benevolent?) search Cyclops than the alternative.

  6. What you’re missing here is that Google does show tons of advertising on pirated content (not just snippets). It’s called AdSense, it involves millions of sites and is worth several billions of dollars to Google. It’s not just about search and distribution.

  7. If Google stole the control of Media Distribution from the Newspapers some are trying to steal it back.

    Both in Bankruptcy (which lets them break old out-dated contracts) Both the Chicago Sun-Time and Tribune are doing 3000x better for local news stories and ways to organize and distribute the content.

    I found these sub-sites through Google News, and now I’m going to take my local feeds off my Google news… the results just aren’t as relevant. Now if the papers can just get a handle on local marketing outlets for those sites, and push it on the local angle, they can return more closely in what they offer media buyers to the (similar) days of print advertising everybody in advertising is so worried about losing.

  8. scott –
    as always, a great post. i think your comment about URL shoteners are key here. plus i think there are categories that do not do as well when fully automated. Finance comes to mind. See what seeking alpha is doing there with a combined automated/edited version. I think local has similar properties as well.

  9. Martin-

    Your point about AdSense is completely valid and may really get to the heart of sites placed in results that are nothing but AdSense links. While running the PPC campaigns for Stericycle and they insisted on running ads on the content network. Therefore I would monitor what sites their ads were shown on regularly. The campaign had over 1,000 sites banned after 9 months. Even after that I still had to regularly ban sites that were just slight misspellings off of sites I had already banned that were obviously the same person setting them up. The thing is somehow AdSense is letting these trash sites charge 5-10x above the average cpc. Sure, 1/10 comes back in a click adjustment credit where they catch the people who click their own sites ads.

    Michael-
    You’re absolutely right about local search returning poor results. I think a lot of this has to do with the system being set up to draw mostly off of data people enter into Google Local. I’m about to start an education push to get more of my small Chicago suburb’s businesses listed and see how it affects the results. I think participation may be the key, and Google may need to just employ a ton of people to do a census-like survey of businesses. It would be great for the economy.

  10. 1/3 of Tribune’s traffic comes from a search engine.
    70% of that 1/3 comes from Google.

    Google is both a competitor and a partner.

    Newspapers did this to themselves by not embracing the web properly and fast enough. They were too busy convincing themselves the web wasn’t a threat.

    Meanwhile, search engines became the destination for news instead of local newspaper websites.

    Now it’s the job of the newspapers to figure out how to be the destination again. Learn from the mistakes of old thinking. Take back the distribution they once had a monopoly on in their markets and they unknowingly handed off to search engines.

    If you only knew the plans that Tribune has in the works in this regard. Whether we/Tribune succeed or not is yet to be determined. But we will most definitely give it one hell of shot. I hope the other newspapers are doing the same.

    I am, however, not waving the ‘death to Google’ flag. I am simply waving the flag of ‘survivorship of traditional journalism’ flag. Just as I can not imagine a world without Google or other search engines, I can not imagine a world without traditional journalism. Traditional journalism isn’t possible without the newspapers cornering enough of the pie to make the numbers work. I’m not saying that every newspaper has to be everything to everyone but they need to continue to do that which others can’t. That takes people . . . that takes resources . . . that takes money . . .

    NOTE: My opinions are my own and may or may not represent the opinions of my employer. I am not a journalist. I am a search engine marketer.

  11. Thank you for helping get the word out about Google! Unfortunately, I don’t think the links are relevant enough any more that if all users decided to e.g. nofollow,noindex everything it would matter. As Martin mentions, AdSense/AdWords drives so much more Google revenue than the search itself, but even that isn’t the problem. Google has their hands in everything: They’re in your Docs, your Ads, your Sites, your conferences, your Web 2.0, and now even your cookies:

    Google AdSense Privacy Concerns

    I think Google, like GM and the banks, has become “too big to fail” – even if all of the honest webmasters and surfers removed AdSense, changed search engines, deleted their Gmail accounts, and stopped using all of Google’s analytics, keyword research, and webmaster tools, we would just see them replaced with made-for-adsense crap and black hats looking to make a quick buck (as we are seeing to some extent already).

    I hope we can find a reasonable solution to the Google problem, but it is extremely unlikely – especially considering Google’s (“alleged”) ties to the FBI, CIA, NSA, and others.

  12. This is nonsense. People publish those links to be read. Google is reading them, it has stolen nothing. If they do wish to stop Google, but allow others, the robots.txt format is specifically designed to allow this, is widely known and easy to implement. Your use of the worth “stole” is, frankly, rude.

    That people choose to go to Google to find content, and not to media companies sites is not because Google has exercised some sort of unholy power exercised through the theft of links.

    It is because newspapers and other media organisations are signally failing to satisfy the needs of those people.

    The idea that the traditional newspaper format: news, comment, crossword, sports, weather etc. is something that could ever survive online is deeply suspicious.

    These products were crap in print, and they are crap online – now people have a choice they are exercising it. Newspapers only worked because they had a captive audience. Now they don’t and they are failing.

    Publishing types can whine as much as they like, but if your business model becomes obsolete that is NOT OUR PROBLEM. Sorry.

  13. Whoever draws the biggest crowds makes the most money. Google draws more viewers than any content producer and without Google the producer would have even less viewers. This apocalyptic scenario where no one can make any money from investigative journalism will just result in Google buying something like the wall st journal and providing free content to its Adsense pubishers to feed the “echo chamber”.

  14. So … change your robots.txt file and don’t let Google index you. I think you’ll see immediately how “little” value google provides.

  15. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links – Publishing 2.0 Share and Enjoy: [...]

  16. A related tidbit of info: in Japan there was a movement for a while, among some people (mostly not very tech-literate, I suppose), to ban others from *linking* to another person’s content without permission. Links of this kind are referred to as “mudan rinku” (?????).

    Here’s the wikipedia page in Japanese, no English:
    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%84%A1%E6%96%AD%E3%83%AA%E3%83%B3%E3%82%AF

  17. You’re fundamentally wrong.

    We don’t “give our links to Google for free”. We link because that’s how the internet works, that’s what makes it useful. Without links, the internet would just be a filing system without navigation.

    Google do something interesting with those links, and make their money by selling a service based on that. In return, we get something of value, a search engine that works tolerably well at indexing the billions of pages of content available to us.

    It annoys me that media groups who weren’t engaging with the net very well back at the start of the century are coming online now and moaning about Google. I guess if you never had to exist in the world where someone would have to spend a couple of hours uploading details of each page launch to a constellation of search engines, few of which would ever deliver any traffic, you might just take having decent search for granted.

    Still, if you think you can do better, you’re more than welcome – nobody is going to stop you from harvesting those links to build a better search engine, and the world will surely beat a path to your door.

    Google isn’t perfect, and it’s far from evil. But what many of the moaners miss is that it’s popular not because it’s big; it’s big because it’s popular. And it’s popular because it works.

  18. [...] en miskennen ze dat hun productieketen al goeddeels is overgenomen door de Google-generatie – niet door Google. Verdienmodel De journalistiek maakt zich terecht zorgen over de massamedia, het was ook haar [...]

  19. [...] De dodelijke fout van de massamedia is deze: ze beschermen de verpakking, en niet de journalistiek. Door Google schending van het auteursrecht te verwijten, trachten ze het verdienmodel van hun container in stand te houden, en miskennen ze dat hun productieketen al goeddeels is overgenomen door de Google-generatie – niet door Google. [...]

  20. Walter…

    How about seeing local news as a mobile phone app…

    http://outwithabang.rickwaghorn.co.uk/?p=250

    Directly connects the user with the local news content that they require… and then in-build local advertisers into that app; takes out Google as the AdSense middleman…

  21. mmm sour grapes? industry hacks waving the white market failure flags, already? Schumpeter would be spinning in his grave right now.

    c’mon, show some guts

  22. So many good points made by Scott and the commenters: Yes, the publishers were too slow to focus on online; yes, Google is the only entity that currently monetizes the traffic efficiently; yes, publishers “gave it away for free” and now they’re going to have to figure out how to start charging for it. But they can’t solve that problem individually. They don’t have the resources or the expertise for that – they can’t compete with Google and its army of engineers. So there’s going to have to be a solution that is offered by a trusted neutral party, one that shares the revenue in an equitable way that enables publishers, bloggers, journalists and other content providers to survive and be profitable. See my proposed solution at http://www.PayCheckr.com

  23. All very well. But in what sense is this “stealing”?

  24. I’m sorry but this article is nothing but Publishing 1.0’s pangs all over again. “Stealing”, “Control” etc. You just don’t understand what Google is.

    Google doesn’t control anything. Control is the wrong word entirely to describe them. They don’t steal either. What Google does, and does highly efficiently, is index and expose the open web. They make money the same way, by providing relevant messages alongside indexing.

    Your problem is not Google. Your problem is that the open web makes all sites flat, all equally available, and hence permits a wall of content. The entire publishing industry is built in a series of gates and distribution pyramids (which thus funnel advertising) but the web’s base structure is completely flat.

    It is simply the reality of how the IP-based internet works. The data, links and information are all there for the crawling and indexing. It is no good to place fault with one company or another for being an effective index system. Taking a pot-shot at Google (or Yahoo or probably Twitter in a while — are you even ready for the real time web?) is like bemoaning power companies for inventing electricity.

    This whole article reeks of a sense of lost entitlement. You think you deserve an income rather than finding a way to earn one. You think that somehow your writing is better than some blog or other site, and so you should be paid.

    Unfortunately for you, the internet’s readership disagrees. There are blogs and publications out there making money on the internet and they do it by really understanding how the web works and working toward it. This may well mean that there is less room for writers and publishers, less entitlement than before.

    Tough. That’s the way it goes. Innovate and evolve and actually become publishing 2.0 rather than pretending you can grasp whatever strands of the old world remain, rather than finding enemies or demons to falsely blame.

  25. @Stephen and others, see update above:

    Just to clarify, the use of “steal” and “stole’ is in the sense of “stole the game.” The point of this post is to explain how Google won, and not at all to suggest that they didn’t deserve to win. Google’s success is a direct reflection of how much value they create, i.e. A LOT — they solved a problem in the market that nobody else figure out how to solve or even recognized as the huge opportunity in the market. This post is also intended to help media companies understand better how Google works so that they can better compete in the web content marketplace, not to justify any feelings of “sour grapes.”

  26. Quite, but I still think there is that sense of enemy about it.

    The point is that search engines are inevitable because of the internet’s structure. Google’s search engine is best for now, but there is much to say that it won’t always be. Google, for example, is not good at real time search in the way that Twitter or Friendfeed are becoming.

    Publishing companies really are wasting their efforts having a go at search engines.

  27. Whether we like it or not, “Google” is almost synonymous with “Internet”. Would it be the Internet possible without Google?

  28. [...] everybody else’s margins? Does that give it “monopoly control over content distribution,” as Scott Karp tries to argue? Not exactly. Information economics work slightly differently than retail economics. [...]

  29. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links and Google in the middle – A two clear, reasonable explanations on why large media companies say [...]

  30. This is exactly why Twitter is so valuable and threatening to Google: individuals vet and promote links. FOR FREE.

    I would more rely on my friend @Glambert’s recommendation than Google’s because I never would have searched for this.

    But b/c I value @Glambert’s opinion, I believe his endorsement.

    This is the beauty of Twitter and the threat to Google.

  31. “”Whether we like it or not, “Google” is almost synonymous with “Internet”. Would it be the Internet possible without Google?””

    Yes of course. Google wasn’t even the first company in its class and the internet predates them by many years. They just got a lot right that their competitors didn’t and have built on their success. They are not some impossible elder god at heart of the interwaves.

  32. Google is giving a lot back: it’s giving you the ability to find information. Image the internet without being able to find information. Quite useless…

    Furthermore, you can’t all blame this on google. The internet itself has changed a lot.

    The newspaper business has changed a lot, even without google. The barriers to entry have completely disappeared for this market: you don’t need journalist or writers, just buy some news, put it on a website, and you can call yourself a newspaper.

    And there’s a lot more competition now: you can read newspapers from all over the world.

    So, easy entry into market, little investment needed, lots of competition: this is not a market where you can earn a lot.

    You actually see this in print too. In the Netherlands we have a number of free print newspapers (metro, de pers, etc). These newspapers basically just reprint canned news. And they understand nobody will pay for this, so they completely rely on ads for income.

    The newspaper business just isn’t a business anymore where customers will pay for the services delivered.

  33. Somebody has to pay for the web and try to earn a buck to make it worth the effort producing good content.

    At the moment advertising is the only ball game. So, you could more correctly say that advertising stole the web. Google just happens to be the 10 ton gorilla in the advertising room at the moment.

    But that could change in a flash if another universally-appliable, frictionless model for making money on the web appeared.

    I’d bet on that happening sooner rather than later. All those content providers are trying everything they can think of.

    Google are simply the current anchor tenant of the web.

  34. [...] mission to shift the control of hyperlinks to users is eloquently validated in Scott Karp’s article. Search engines are Link Hubs that direct users to relevant content, and therefore exercise control [...]

  35. [...] há muito a sua popularidade. Entenderá a empresa o próprio mercado do qual são líderes? Aqui fica uma exlicação mais detalhada sobre a actuação da Google na Internet e como esta lida com [...]

  36. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links – Publishing 2.0 (tags: google economics journalism media links content internet search) [...]

  37. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links [...]

  38. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links – Publishing 2.0 – There is so much misunderstanding flying around about the economics of content on the web and the role of Google in the web’s content economy that it’s making my head hurt. So let’s see if we can straighten things out. [...]

  39. [...] How Google stole control over content distribution by stealing-links [...]

  40. [...] read this post at Publishing2. Google isn’t stealing content from newspapers and other media companies. It’s [...]

  41. [...] of us except the Associated Press, The Atlantic, and a few others. Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine and Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 get it, and they’ve been trying to explain the new rules to the surviving members of the [...]

  42. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links [...]

  43. [...] Karp, of Publishing 2.0, takes a good stab at explaining just how Google controls (newspaper) content distribution over the [...]

  44. [...] há muito a sua popularidade. Entenderá a empresa o próprio mercado do qual são líderes? Aqui fica uma exlicação mais detalhada sobre a actuação da Google na Internet e como esta lida com [...]

  45. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links – "What Google “steals” from every website isn’t the content — it’s the links. "It’s the links, stupid. And everyone gives Google their links to read — for free!!" This is why journalists need to understand what power there is in linking and being a trusted source of links [...]

  46. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links – Publishing 2.0 Google doesn’t really need your content, because there’s plenty more where it came from. What Google really needs is your links, i.e. your votes for content — it needs your help separating the wheat from the chaff on the web. (tags: journalism media advertising business internet search google links) [...]

  47. yes its mostly true, but what is the interet without google, we have become so dependant on it that most business is sunk without its support.

    The issue around the digg bar is more of a self-interest issue for digg, its making its own link building campaign using your content, would be like all your news stories being hosted on google.com and not linked directly to your website.

  48. [...] forma parte de algunas cosas que se dicen en este artículo que merece la pena leer, y que viene a cuento de los últimos cambio de Google en su [...]

  49. [...] Maar er is ook hoop. Kevin Rector, een jonge verslaggever ziet in het zelfde nummer van de American Journalism Review vooral kansen. Journalistiek blijft een populaire studie op Amerikaanse universiteiten. Of wordt hyperlokaal de toekomst? Of moeten kranten toch Google aanpakken? [...]

  50. One question that pops to mind is, rather than relying on hindsight what is it that the media companies (newspapers for e.g.) doing to counter this so called “menace”? Maybe, just maybe nothing. Not because they are too lazy or thick headed but because they aren’t loosing much, ever heard of a win win situation. No rule ever said that if someone makes money the other guy has to lose money by default.

  51. Great piece. I have been struggling for a couple of years; first to understand; then how to explain it to others.

    Everyone says content is king. Yet what we are are seeing is content being commoditized. This and loss of advertising revenue has killed the newspapers.

    As content has less and less value, Google continues because its hold on distribution and ranking.

    John Deck

  52. [...] la distribuzione dei contenuti online: questo dice sostanzialmente Scott Karp all’interno di un articolo che parla delle recenti vicissitudini riguardanti il rapporto conflittuale tra i grandi …. Il successo di Google, argomenta Karp, è il riflesso diretto della sua capacità di [...]

  53. [...] a brilliant post on his Publishing 2.0 blog, Scott Karp elucidates (with the help of Nick Carr) how Google is dominating the Web and why a site like Google can be so [...]

  54. [...] http://publishing2.com/2009/04/11/how-google-stole-control-over-content-distribution-by-stealing-lin… No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post) Del med andre: [...]

  55. All these Google defenders should wake up and realize it’s a different company now. With Eric Schmidt in command they are playing for total control of the web.

    It’s Microsoft back in the eighties.

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    And publishers should do everything they can to pull the covers back in their own direction.

  56. [...] und es wird wieder gefragt, ob Google Verlage und Medienhäuser “beklaue”? Denn, so Scott Karp auf publishing2.com, Google kontrolliere über Google News mittlerweile den Vertrieb von Nachrichten derart, dass hier [...]

  57. I only read the first part and quickly came across two datapoints indicating that the author didn’t think this through:

    a) just because the amount of content increases does not mean that the average quality or interestingness of the content remains constant.

    b) most people who claim to know search engines by now have grasped that page rank is one of many, many, many signals used for ranking and its importance is steadily decreasing. letting relevance be dominated by page rank creates a scenario that is too easy to exploit.

    No need to read the rest since it is likely to be more of the same.

  58. [...] How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links – Publishing 2.0 If media companies want to compete with Google, they need to look at the source of its power — judging good content, which enables Google to be the most efficient and effective distributor of content. They also need to look at Google’s fundamental limitation — its judgment is dependent on OTHER people expressing their judgment of content in the form of links. Above all, they need to look at sources of content judgment that Google currently can’t access, because they are not yet expressed as links on the web. [...]

  59. [...] and it’ll be a shame to see them go. There’s a great summary of the issue by Nick Carr and some good thoughts (with a linkbait title) by Scott Karp. Karp says: Those who argue that Google is a friend to [...]

  60. [...] the web is its ability to judge what’s most relevant in an increasingly large sea of content” legt Scott Karp in zijn artikel uit. Google loste daarmee een probleem op, waarvan niemand eerder de enorme commerciële kansen had [...]

  61. [...] forma parte de algunas cosas que se dicen en este artículo que merece la pena leer, y que viene a cuento de los últimos cambio de Google en su [...]

  62. Scott, this is smart but wrong.

    The source of the problem is that newspapers are commodity providers, where they once had a monopoly. If they had unique content, they would generate their own distribution on the ‘net, and Google would be their friend. But because they all publish the same stories, the market power shifts to Google.

    More depth here: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/104402-hedged-in/885-google-the-newspapers-and-the-emperor-s-new-clothes

  63. If google news is the main source of your complaint, I really don’t get it. Google makes nothing when someone clicks on a link to a news organization at google news. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Further, I don’t see any ads on google news. So google does not even make money when people browse the news link they have collected. Google is a fact of life for us all. Best to learn how to deal with it.

  64. [...] relevant to a given search.  Here’s an interesting blog post by Scott Karp titled “How Google Control Over Content Distribution by Stealing Links” that references Google’s algorithm.  (My linking to this blog post does not imply I [...]

  65. I agree that google is stealing contents but on the other hand Google is providing an extraordinary to World users on just few clicks and which is not providing by any other search engine. Google Page Rank is one of the example.

    Now a days all search engies, directories and Link Buiilding webs are taking Google page rank is one of the primary thing to rank any website.

    So what you think if google is stealing contents on the other hand google is sharing every thing with users.

  66. [...] Läs också Scott Karps utmärkt inlägg i Publishing 2.0: “How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links“. [...]

  67. It’s true, imo Google ” owns ” the internet pretty much. They aren’t at Monopoly stage but they are surely at 80% if not 90%. But what are you gonna do as a small entrepreneur, like myself I have to promote through Google cause it’s the mainstream search engine, no search results, no sales. simple as that.

    Cheers!

  68. [...] di questi contenuti. Vuole solo tutti si sbattano all’inverosimile, in modo da poter continuare a guadagnare soldi a palate grazie al duro lavoro di altri. Fonte: Google Says Quality is Dirt Cheap, Don’t Hire [...]

  69. [...] Ma Google non rispetta chi crea contenuti. Questo è chiaro. E’ talmente ovvio, il gigante della ricerca vuole solo fottuti contenuti. A Google non importa della qualità di questi contenuti. Vuole solo tutti si sbattano all’inverosimile, in modo da poter continuare a guadagnare soldi a palate grazie al duro lavoro di altri. [...]

  70. [...] asset of Google, the most successful content distribution business on the web, is its ability to harness the judgment of every person who creates a hyperlink on the web, and to know which links from which sites represent more trusted [...]

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