Google wins as newspapers battle

Google claims 'advertisers, publishers, and information seekers all profit' via Google.

Every company and every individual in the world is a Google target.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt :

We are in the search business, so we need all of the information…We're also in the advertising business, and we'd like to provide advertising services to people who have their own proprietary content. So depending on where we are in that spectrum, we either do an advertising deal or a content deal or a hybrid deal. But ultimately our goal at Google is to have the strongest advertising network and all the world's information, that's part of our mission.

Google wants all of “the world’s information” (including individuals’ personal information), it wants to sell advertising to all of the world and it wants to distribute its advertising throughout all of the world.

Is the Google world circle a virtuous one?

Google claims “advertisers, publishers, and information seekers all profit as a result.” How so?

Google on AdWords:

Google designed AdWords for advertisers who want to reach a qualified audience as efficiently as possible. Advertisers select their own target keywords and only pay when customers click on their ads.

Google on AdSense:

Thousands of web site managers take advantage of our Google AdSense program to deliver ads relevant to the content on their sites, improving their ability to generate revenue and enhancing the experience for their users.

The newspaper industry may concur, according to a Wall Street Journal story last week, “Google this: U.K. papers vie to buy search terms.”

Britain’s famously competitive newspapers have a new battleground: Google. Newspapers are buying search words on Google Inc., so that links to their Web sites pop up first when people type in a search. The Daily Telegraph, for example, bought the phrase “North Korea Nuclear Test” after the country detonated a nuclear device last October…Some U.S. newspapers such as The New York Times, the Washington Post and Gannett Co.’s USA Today say they sometimes buy search terms on Google.

The newspaper industry is spending money to buy placement in the “Sponsored Links” portion of Google SERPs and it is spending money in the hopes of returning “naturally” in Google SERPs.

Edward Roussel, digital editor, The Telegraph:

The most important driver of all readers (to our site) is Google, except for people who know us and come directly. Trying to figure out how to gain more prominence is something of a dark art.

The Telegraph has hired consultants to help the newspaper try and figure it out.

Is a Google-centric strategy in a newspaper’s best long term interests?

SEO for Google: Many, in the newspaper industry and elsewhere, view Google search traffic as “free,” almost a gift from Google. A reliance on Google search for readers, however, may dilute a property’s brand equity, reader loyalty and a decrease in direct URL navigation.

Paid search on Google: Newspapers “only pay when customers click on their ads,” but they are paying more and more to Google, thanks to the Google-centric blind auction sale of AdWords.

The Wall Street Journal:

To buy search terms, papers pay Google at least 19 cents each time the term is clicked on. Prices can go up to $2, or even higher, depending on demand from other advertisers. At times, the papers try to outbid each other for terms.

As newspapers battle each other for the right to pay more to Google for “better” AdWords, Google’s  winnings increase.

Google often wins twice, or even three times or more, over:

1) A Google searcher clicks on a Google SERP “Sponsored Link” purchased by a newspaper from Google,

2) The Google searcher lands on the newspaper’s Web page and is shown AdSense “Ads by Google,”

3) The Google searcher clicks on a Google AdSense ad at the newspaper’s Website and leaves the newspaper for….

More of the Google virtuous circle?

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