Search Offers Challenges To Business Publishers

    November 29, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The growth and acceptance of search engines posed a conundrum to sites like the Wall Street Journal, and they still see a need for a more effective business model.

The Jordan, Edmiston Group passed along the latest interview conducted by’s Rafat Ali. This time around, Ali spoke with Gordon Crovitz, President, electronic publishing, Dow Jones, which publishes and MarketWatch.

From a search perspective, Crovitz noted that some integration of content between the Journal and MarketWatch has already taken place. The integration will increase as Dow Jones improves search across their online properties, but Crovitz didn’t go so far as to call for sweeping the two together, as he said: “The important thing for me is to maintain separate editorial operations at the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch, because they serve very different audiences.”

There is some wariness when the topic of search engines like Google or Yahoo arises. Crovitz acknowledges the traffic driven by search engines, but sees pitfalls too:

“…how do business publishers use search engines without getting “used”? In other words, how do we take advantage of search as a way for consumers to find our news and information, while maintaining business models that permit us to continue to publish high-quality content, as we share ad revenue with the search engines?

Many business publishers have found search engines to be their greatest ally, since they help consumers find their information online. Other business publishers have lost what had been a unique ability to reach a particular audience. This has created great challenges, especially in terms of advertising revenue.”

Crovitz said ultimately someone must pay for quality content, and suggested that advertisers, search engines, and consumers may all have to take a role as revenue drivers to keep that content available.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.