Are Google Trying to Devalue Content?


Tom has an interesting take on GoogleBase, are they trying to devalue content, just as the balance of power is shifting away from indexing to content creation?

Talking about how the value has been with indexing content for some time now as the business models could not be figured out on the content creation side, he says...

That used to be the case on the internet because we couldn't figure out the business models online. But we are figuring that out--and that is not good if you are just an index. The balance is shifting to the content-owners, because search and scraping is easy to do and thus of little value. Creating content is hard, but the human labor expended results in something of value.

Dumping content into the GOOGbase and making it free devalues the labor of people and rewards machine-based content production: Google's index pages. imho.

Im not sure that's entirely it, but i can believe it's part of it. Self preservation as Search becomes a commodity seems sensible, and Google are nothing if not ruthless in the pursuit of power and money.


My take

Yes I think this is about not being commoditised but I think it is about elevating content rather than devaluing it. This Google owned content means that even if another search engine becomes number 1 there will always be unique content that Google can deliver and better. This is similar to the way Amazon took a commodity (the ISBN database) and made it theirs by adding on user generated content so now people are more likely to search amazon than a generic book db, their data and audience is a barrier for competitors.

I still think Y! should buy craigslist share from ebay or whoever it was and do something with it..

not devalue, just control

Well if you want to index the worlds data your big problem is accurately categorising it. As a way of getting human editors to categorise content without actually having human editors Google Base is pretty handy.

And of course if you put url's in for a destination page (don't know if you do since it doesn't let me login even if anyone else has hit lucky) then its a great way of associating [specific products] [commercial categorisation] [this type of content] with a url - helsp no end with organic search stuff.

But imho the main thing is the tie in - from Google broadband we move to Google ISP - from Google Base we move to Google Mini Websites for small businesses (FOC with contextual advertising as payment) - From Froogle and mini websites we move to Google Stores - once half the small businesses in the world are running their ecommerce from Google Servers and the other half are accessing their websites over Google bandwidth how much easier will Googles job be and how much harder for those websites to optimise in *inventive* ways?

Its perfectly possible to rule the world if you have the cash to setup the infrastructure :)

what the?

what happened to the whole Google just wants to screw ebay thing? this is way to dark for me.


I think it is a mistake to go after eBay via content of that is what they are up to. Their asset is not the content but the community. People go to eBay because everyone goes to eBay so everyone goes to eBay etc. That is why the competitors wither on the vine, nobody goes there because nobody goes there. Also eBay is self contained, they have traffic and everything it takes to sell your product. Google would need to build the rest to really take on ebay.

Proprietary corpus. Google

Proprietary corpus.

Google Library Project is another.


Proprietary corpus, meaning that a submission of the data makes it free, or at minumum muddies the water with respect to ownership. We don't know if G will "permit" this sort of data to exist free of duplicate content penalty, either (and yes I am aware of the influence of wrappers on current dup content eval...I'm projecting ahead).

The bigger issue for me is the great divide between aware content creators and unaware content creators. If we can say at some point that the Big G is encouraging that divide (such a smight be the case with disinformation posted to Webmaster Guidelines, or a lack of transparency on certain critical issues), or choosing to segregate publishers along lines of profitability for purposes of "strip mining" content, then we have a case for organized opposition.

Until then, the Craig's List, Wikipedia, and X-List Blogger communities are more influential than webmasters IMHO. Someone at G with several degrees in Finance is weighing the profits from "buy crap on eBay" ads vs. the potential profits if monetizing Craig's List. As for the relatively small percentage of "competitive webmasters" out there, it really is "game on" isn't it?

heard first at TW

right after Web 2.0

we have

AOL 2.0

OMG, homepage headline

OMG, homepage headline coming up! hehe... :)

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