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Who's really at fault? vs.   Google under fire...or not?

Earlier today, Adage reported on an interesting controversy between big media and Google. The controversy in rooted in the fact that big media wants to exert more control over their positioning in Google’s search engine results pages.

Upset by the fact that amateur bloggers,  new-school content aggregators, and even Twitterers often rank higher than more ‘authoritative’ media sites like CNN or The New York Times for popular newsworthy searches, media companies and content executives are gearing up to go to battle on April 30th, when Google will host the next closed-door meeting of its Publishers Advisor Council.

But it’s not only special treatment these publishers are asking for; they also want a peek into Google’s algorithm and a clearer understanding as to how the search engine ranks sites. In essence, they want the recipe for Google’s secret sauce…and they aren’t likely to get it.

As most of us know, there are a ton of resources out there available to one who wants his or her site to rank highly in the search engines. If the media powers want to rank higher, why not just do the work?

When it comes down to who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s hard to say. Being a professional writer, it sounds nice to think content produced by respected media publishers might be given special weight by Google, but when I wear my Internet marketing hat, the same idea sounds ridiculous.

What do you think? Should brands like The New York Times be given special treatment because they’ve established credibility, or should big media be forced to optimize their sites like the rest of the world?


9 thoughts on “The Media vs. Google: Who’s Really At Fault?
  1. ade says:

    I agree that big media should be forced to optimize their site like the rest of the world. They shouldn’t cheat.

  2. elevator says:

    Google Earth is good!

  3. Glenn says:

    I agree with ade. If we’ve learned anything during these past 12 months it’s that the world is changing in almost every way. Big corporations are not to be trusted like they once were, and now the little guy has a HUGE voice and big media doesn’t like it. This is natural for them to feel this way because at some point in our lives we’ve all felt as though others are trying to take something away from us. Hopefully they’ll soon realize that flowing with the stream is better than trying to swim against it.

    There’s always new opportunity, big media and corporations should embrace this kind of change and experiment with and alter advertising promotions…everyone can prosper with the right mindset.

  4. It’s true…although I think writers and content producers who work for big media deserve respect, the Internet is not the print industry. Front page of the Wall Street Journal does not mean #1 in Google, and you can’t just adjust the way the Internet works to give big media the same prestige it has offline. To think these media companies would even ask for such a thing makes them look seriously out of touch. Eeek.

  5. Jeff Pickett says:

    I just started to write a really long comment and realized I should just write a blog about this in the future. But in short: Google is a website. Google is not the Internet itself. Google owes nothing to any site or person. Google has come to where it is because it is so effective with search results. If users did not like the results Google generated, then Alta Vista would still be popular.

    HOWEVER. Personally, I often wish my search results were more reliable and informative sources. I guess that’s what the “News” search tab is for. Maybe Google should show a few top news results the way they show image results for certain searches…

  6. Amanda Moshier says:

    Google may not be ‘the Internet,” but I question whether Google is just a website. It has considerably more influence over our lives, the way we consume information, and even the economy than most. Check out the recent interview Eric Schmidt gave to the BBC: http://tinyurl.com/d9zkn3 – he thinks banks too big to fail should be broken up by the US government, but what about Google? Is an anti-trust suit in its future?

  7. Kevin says:

    I will lose all faith in humanity if Google lifts a single finger to help Big Media. Have a more ridiculous sense of entitlement.

  8. “Have a more ridiculous sense of entitlement.” I like that.

  9. Jonathan says:

    The greatest aspect of the Internet is that everyone has an equal opportunity. Big Media, RIAA, MPAA, etc. all deserve their fate due to their greed and shortsightedness. If the “community” genuinely likes an article written by some random blogger over a ‘prestigious’ Big Media type, why should Big Media given any priority? They shouldn’t.

    This is why sites like Digg are so popular and why once again Big Media is behind the curve playing a game they have already lost.

    I smell a Google pwnt s3sh on 04/30.

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