Guardian Asks British Govt. To Investigate Google
We’re not witnessing the death of newspapers or journalism, just the apathetic and bloody culling of evolution; those with sustainable business models will survive, and those without, well, it’s curtains for ya. Nothing personal, just the way it’s gotta be.
It’s rather interesting then how British newspaper The Guardian is the latest to join the blame Google chorus, but it’s the first to call on a government to investigate Google News and other news aggregators to see if something can and should be done about it.
The Guardian wants its government to look into the “negative effects of aggregators and search engines on the ability of and incentives for UK content providers to invest in quality content.” They believe the online news business is heavily skewed in Google’s favor, and that the traffic Google provides cannot make up for the devaluing of advertising Google has created across the board.
Google has caused advertising to become cheap and as such it can no longer sustain online publishers. And if online publishers can’t make money, then what good is traffic? That’s quite a pickle, one that many publications find themselves in these days, and one they’re going to have to find a way out of.
It’s not very clear what the government could do about it anyway; most governments are a bit busy with the global financial crisis at the moment. The Guardian points the finger at the BBC, too, providing free content to Britain with government funding.
Some think Guardian should complain louder about that than about Google, but I think they’re going about it all wrong. The AP and the American Publishers Association already proved that in order to get more money out of Google you have to sue them. Rather than fight the suit, Google will likely just give The Guardian a bigger piece of the action. Making deals so far is cheaper than fighting for fair use, a lesson Google certainly learned from Viacom.