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Mar 25, 2008

Who Earns the Page View?

Whether a blogger or publisher, your content read elsewhere creates controversy. Portals and social media sites increasingly fight for users, readers, and ad dollars - taking them away from the content creators.

First, RSS Feeds

RSS feed readers like My Yahoo, iGoogle, Google Reader, Firefox Live, and Explorer 7 started with simple headlines that link to the content.

Advanced features use pop-up windows to keep readers at the reader site, reducing views at the content site. Thus, your subscribers can scan ten posts, produce ten impressions for the reader site, and no clicks to your site.

Then, Social Networks

Social media sites, like Facebook, MyBlogLog, Tumblr, and Technorati, import feeds.

Although they provide a link back to the original content - the link at mature networks is increasingly more difficult to find. Technorati is a good example as the site used millions of blogs to create their community. Today, it takes multiple clicks for readers to find the original content.

Now, Site Search

Read the discussions from the New York Times, Forbes, and CNet about the latest controversy.

A New Tool From Google Alarms Sites
Published: March 24, 2008
Retailers and publishers have fought hard to work their way up in the ranking of Google’s search results and refine the search features of their own Web sites to help users once they arrive. Now, Google is taking a greater role in helping users search within particular sites. And some of the same retailers and publishers are not happy about it...

The problem, for some in the industry, is that when someone enters a term into that secondary search box, Google will display ads for competing sites, thereby profiting from ads it sells against the brand. The feature also keeps users searching on Google pages and not pages of the destination Web site.
Online advertising's protracted adolescence Posted by Richard Defendorf

The issue of brand protection also takes center stage in an Associated Press story on the continuing efforts of traditional media companies--Conde Nast, Viacom, CBS, and, more recently, Forbes--to develop their own topic-specific ad networks to compete with big Web portals for advertiser dollars.

The story pinpoints the key challenge these media companies face: it'll take considerable ingenuity, investment, and stamina for them to offer a network that can compete with the reach of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, especially as they continue to add tools to their advertising offerings, such as those of display ad specialist DoubleClick, which Google recently acquired.

How valuable are the online identities of some of these media brands? Just follow the advertising dollars to find out.

The Google Conflict: Search Engine or Destination?

Of some 1.2 billion search queries on Google during a one-week period in January 2008, universal results were presented about 17 percent of the time, according to research released by James Lamberti, comScore's SVP, search and media. What's more, the total number of clicks on universal results totaled 16 percent.

"The search result page is beginning to operate as a destination," observed Lamberti. "The consumers are a priority. Not the marketers."

Plus, Google sent nearly 400 million search referrals to their own multi-media properties, such as YouTube, over six months. That includes 148 million referrals to YouTube and 173 million to Google Images, the comScore data show.

How can bloggers and publishers maintain control?

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