New Publisher Who Will Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
I ended my last post with “If it’s not obvious that Google wants to compete with us, you better think again.” Granted none of you decided to add a comment, but some of you did call or e-mail me and agreed. Three of the most recent announcements from Google are more signs that it wants to steal eyeballs and advertisers from all of us.
If it takes off, Google’s user-generated wiki, Knol, will own its SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Why would any of our content “organically” appear above something contributed through Knol? This could lead to the end of organic search as Google would certainly want Knol-authored content to appear ahead of any other publishers’ stories on the same topic.
New to Google Analytics is Benchmarking, an optional service that shows how your Web site’s traffic statistics compare against other industry verticals. In the beta version, you are able to compare your site’s visits, page views, pages per visit, bounce rate, average time on site, and new visits against benchmark data from categories of other participating Web sites. While I agree publishers can use this data to identify additional opportunities to improve site metrics, it will be much easier for Google to launch Knols as it learns more about all of our Web site traffic.
Lastly, Google Ad Manager is a free, hosted solution designed to place ads on Web sites and generate reports detailing how successful those ads are in reaching an audience. Google said Ad Manager’s purpose is to ease some of the problems that come with managing advertisements on a Web site, such as gauging available inventory and how to pick the highest-paying ads. When someone here called me and asked if we should dump our ad server in favor of this free service, I said we should just hand the list of our best advertisers over to Google who would gladly try to get each of them to use its pay-per-click (PPC) AdWords program and steal more advertisers from us.
Just as Eric Schmidt said that Google Docs wasn’t going to compete with Microsoft Office, when you hear him or anyone else say that Google doesn’t want to get into publishing, don’t believe them.