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Thursday, October 28, 2004
Search Helps The Big Players; Search Hurts The Big Players; I Just Don't Know!
dotJournalism reports on the Association of Online Publishers conference in London last week. Associated New Media managing director Andrew Hart says that search engines will push all the power to the major publishers, who can pay SEO companies to push them to the forefront. He says that the search will become a big tool that those with the big bucks can exploit, and:
This kind of complex distortion is only made available to the big players and will make business in the long term impossible for small firms. Spend on search is the fastest growing sector in online advertising spend, so money is flowing to just a handful of online web search brands - and to those with only the biggest marketing budgets.
On the flip side, Lorainne Twohill, Google's director of European marketing and Paul Rossi of the Economist argue that Google helps small sites more than large ones, and Rossi claims that Google will kill the value of brands.
Google says it has the answers, so users will go to the top page result and it doesn't matter where that is. The brand is secondary in the user's mind.
Techdirt exclaims that, "Thus, some random blogger (the horror!) might get more attention than the Economist".

I think the publishers just don't get the point. Yes, Google makes it easier for small publishers and bloggers to get notice. The most quality reporting will make its way to the top. However, the biggest blogger will simply be besieged by job offers from the big media companies, since that will be where the money is. For the first time, journalists can build a global audience and get major reader loyalty, and big media can pick them up as "free agents," so to speak. Blogs are an incredible way to gauge talent and appeal. Wouldn't it be great to actually be able to weigh job candidates, seeing how many people already follow them, what sort of audience they appeal to, and what advertisers they appeal to? Well, it already exists, and it's the blogosphere, the ultimate job interview.

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