Google Partnership With Fairfax Digital Announced

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Americans may not be familiar with the Fairfax Digital group, but it’s Australia’s “leading provider of online news and classifieds websites.”  And it’s now Google’s partner – Fairfax Digital has joined the Google Adsense network, will make some clips available through Google Video, and plans to integrate Google Maps throughout its properties.

Does this deal sound important?  It is.  That quote about being a “leading provider” sounds like typical PR puff, but (across the group’s 30 or so websites) Fairfax Digital brings in roughly 5 million unique visitors per month.

Google’s Julian Persaud, a strategic partner development manager, seemed appropriately thrilled to have sealed a deal.  “We’re delighted to be working with Fairfax Digital in this way to help monetise, enhance and extend the reach of, its online content,” he wrote on the Official Google Australia Blog.  “Going forward, we’re excited to build on these foundations to further expand our relationship.”

That expansion could include other Fairfax Media holdings – Fairfax Digital is just one piece of a much larger pie.  In fact, many of the Fairfax Digital sites are just the online versions of widely circulated newspapers.

But as traditional media has often seemed endangered by Google’s success, Jack Matthews, Fairfax Digital’s chief executive, tried to explain the current partnership.  “In today’s complex world there’s a reality that you have to deal with and certainly there’s elements of Google that we and others would find perhaps threatening,” he began.

“But on the other hand, Google is a major player in this marketplace and we see many more upsides to the relationship than threats.  The reality is Google here is a company that can deliver big business to Fairfax Digital, it’s a company that we’d like to do more business with and it’s not dissimilar to the way newspapers might historically look at online,” Matthews concluded, as quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald (a Fairfax Digital property).

This new partnership is certainly momentous – Fairfax Digital will be better able than ever before to succeed online, and Google has achieved a much stronger position in Australia and New Zealand.

Google Partnership With Fairfax Digital Announced
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