LONDON, UK – Google has defended itself against accusations that it exploits poor hard-working hacks by using other companies’ content without adequate financial compensation. In fact, according to UK managing director Matt Brittin, Google’s actually very generous, sharing $5 billion with publishers through its contextual ad program AdSense last year.
Google has often been accused by publishers of exploiting online news services since the launch of AdSense in 2003. Google News is also disliked by many journalists for the homogeneity of stories which it creates – indeed, our own Mike Magee had a little rant on the subject only yesterday.
But speaking at the FIPP World Magazine Congress, Brittin said that Google is the online publishers’ friend, sending about a billion clicks each month to publications’ websites through Google Search and Google News, thus helping them build their audience. He also promised to work with publishers to improve their digital revenues in future.
“In a world where everyone is a publisher, what is needed more than ever is editing skills and brands that help people understand the quality of the content and help them to find the content that is useful. I think there is a big opportunity here,” he said.
Apparently, we should all be using tools such as Google Trends, Google Insight and Google Analytics to target ads more efficiently and make lots of lovely dosh. “Google’s tools and technologies can be part of the solution,” he claimed.
But, he said, the bottom line is that it’s not really Google’s problem: “We think the [economic] slowdown will accelerate consumer adoption of technology, it will speed up consumer change and behaviour and speed up change in how competitors compete for attention – and Google doesn’t have any of the answers.”