Those Luddite Publishers Have a Point

When I woke up this morning to a post on Advertising Age entitled “Media Giants Want to Top Google Results“, I braced for a whining sense of entitlement from an oligopoly that, by all accounts, isn’t aging well. But this part of the article caught my attention:

[Publishers] don’t just want “We’ll fix it.” They want more insight into Google’s black box of data and decision making.

Me too. As a consumer, I might have a slightly different goal than the publishers–I want to control how my results are presented, rather than to simply peer insider the black box in order to optimize content for it. Nonetheless, I’m glad to see more calls for transparency all around.

I’m also intrigued by the Automated Content Access Protocol, mentioned in the post. A big reason that publishers are in such a bind now is that they sold their birthright to Google for a mess of pottage, inviting traffic from Google at the expense of commoditization. It’s probably a bit late to lock the barn door, but at least publishers seem to be reflecting on their strategic mistakes.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.