By Kyle Austin
February 26th, 2009
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Yesterday, Google made a move – somewhat discretely – that many have been expecting for some time. The move, bringing Google AdWords to Google News may seem like a meaningless announcement to some, but it could have vast implications on both the news and PR industry.
Steve Rubel hypothesizes that the move makes Google News a “PR playground.” He notes:
“Given the relative ease of launching a simple Google AdWords campaign we’re going to see a lot of companies – some legit, others not – buying up real estate on Google. On the whole, I am bullish about ads in Google News. The PR industry largely missed the first search engine marketing wave and I believe that, at least when it comes to smaller campaigns, we still have time to catch up.”
He raises an interesting point and it will be important to observe how competitors react to this new opportunity. Will PR and marketing departments view it as a new avenue to create influence? The competition is now open. For instance: A keyword like “iPhone,” which has brought up contextual ads for BlackBerry in past Web searches, now brings up the same ads when searching for iPhone news (pictured above).
However, as John Battelle notes, the real buzz around this move will likely be heard from the media and newspaper industry.
Robert Thomson, Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal, recently noted on Charlie Rose that:
“Google devalues everything it touches. Google is great for Google, but it’s terrible for content providers, because it divides that content quantitatively rather than qualitatively. And if you are going to get people to pay for content, you have to encourage them to make qualitative decisions about that content.”
This statement was made before Google News was actually making money off of “distributing” content from newspapers and other outlets. How are newspapers going to feel now that Google is making money off of serving up their news, in a quantitative fashion?