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Google and Facebook Are Not the Enemy. The New York Times Just Sucks and is Blaming Them.

It certainly looks like the New York Times and national media are going to war against Facebook and Google. We’ve had ample hits on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook over the past few weeks. Now the New York Times is blaming YouTube for people getting radicalized and also that Google is profiting off the news business. We’ve seen the same stories about Facebook groups and traffic from Facebook to media outlets.

$4,700,000,000. It’s more than the combined ticket sales of the last two “Avengers” movies. It’s more than what virtually any professional sports team is worth. And it’s the amount that Google made from the work of news publishers in 2018 via search and Google News, according to a study to be released on Monday by the News Media Alliance.

That’s how the “objective” story starts.

Look, the New York Times and other news outlets abdicated responsibility for their brands and traffic to Google and Facebook. It didn’t work out so well for them and now, instead of admitting they suck, they’ve decided to blame Google and Facebook. As my radio producer noted:

Fact check true.

All you have to do is consider this: Google and Facebook are sending traffic to those news sites. None of this exists in a vacuum. Yes, one might see a link to the New York Times on Google wherein Google displays an ad, but then the person goes to the New York Times if they are interested. They’d have never found the link otherwise.

Just consider this piece from that New York Times story:

Google contested the study’s findings, which were disputed in several posts on Twitter. “These back-of-the envelope calculations are inaccurate,” the company said in statement, adding that “the overwhelming number of news queries do not show ads.” The company said Google news and search sends over 10 billion clicks to publishers’ websites each month, driving subscriptions and ad revenue. “We’ve worked very hard to be a collaborative and supportive technology and advertising partner to news publishers worldwide.” The News Media Alliance based its new report partly on a study done by the economics consulting firm Keystone Strategy. Keystone Strategy relies on a statistic that was made public in 2008, when a Google executive estimated that Google News brought in $100 million. The study also noted how much company revenues have grown since then, among other factors. News is a significant part of Google’s business, according to the study. Some 40 percent of the clicks on the platform’s trending queries are for news. That’s content that Google does not pay for, the report said, although it often presents headlines from news outlets verbatim.

Got this? Google News typically does not show ads. It displays news stories that you can click on and be directed to the news organization’s website.. Saying “That’s content that Google does not pay for” is a crap excuse. Google’s purpose is not to create content, but to help people find your content.

The entire premise of this is absurd.

Most people would not see your story except by searching Google. If they don’t want t click on the headline you gave your own damn story, that is not Google’s fault.

You know what else is not Google’s fault? You didn’t make your product so memorable and necessary that people go to it everyday instead of to Google.

Google is not the bad guy here and this is just grifting off what they do. It’s a smear job on the heels of other attacks on Google and Facebook. This really isn’t anything other than yellow journalism.


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