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Google Aims to Assist Publishers

02 Jun 2009

Google aims to work with publishers to help them generate the same return from online advertising as print however Google UK Managing Director Matt Brittin said bridging the gap between print and online advertising was still “very much a work in progress”.


He told a recent publishing conference in London, “We have to work on targeting and relevance to try and make online advertising more relevant and help you (publishers) to make a commensurate return online as offline.”


Brittin highlighted the structural problem facing magazines in a digital age: Google and Google News searches for tabloid and celebrity based stories are up 485 percent from 2005 whilst searches for magazine brands have grown 225 percent during the same period. “Online it’s not the magazine brand (people search for) it’s the story or feature.”


With more positivity Brittin talked about how the economic downturn will speed up the move to online and that publishers can take advantage of this. “There is a tremendous opportunity for publishers,” said Britton, “People are spending nearly a third of their time online – a significant chunk of their media time online.”


He also went on to discuss the growing popularity of online as a medium for socialisation with more and more people “posting comments, blogs and reviews and using online to interact. “In a world where everybody’s a publisher, what’s needed more than ever are people with editing skills.”


Because of the real time interaction of online Britton believes “There are huge opportunities for publishers to use similar technologies to understand how people are engaging with their content.”


Googles solutions are well promoted however Britton summed up the problem: “The challenge is the models of monetisation online and figuring out how to make that economically viable as your print products are – those models are lagging consumer behaviour.” He added that Google was working with publishers to “Try to figure out the best way of monetising online.”


Last year Google shared $5bn in advertising revenue with publishing partners worldwide according to Brittin. However, several speakers at this years FIPP conference in London have voiced concern about the profits being reaped by Google with publishers’ content and giving little back in return.


Carolyn McCall of Guardian Media Group commented that the traffic Google drives to news websites is “no longer a fair swap because we can’t really monetize traffic in the way we were.”



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