For a couple of years now, AdViking has been beating the drum about Google being a Media Company and is now thoroughly bored of the little counter-points of debate put forward at meeting tables, conference calls and dinner parties. The debate is over, Google is not a technology company and as the IHT says: Google’s foray into content raises some eyebrows!
The article goes into consideration of the effect of the recently launched Knol. Which is a Google ‘expert’ self-publishing site, along the lines of Wikipedia, with the primary exception is that authors by-line their entries, can display Google advertising on them and maintain their copyright.
Knol is new and so not going to impact Publishers yet but all ready consider it is brand new the content is ranking suspiciously high and AdViking doesn’t care what Google says, everyone knows that they jack results in their favour.
Also, what’s stopping someone from jacking copyrighted material from somewhere else onto Knoll (e.g.: the buttermilk pancakes recipe on Knoll could simply be a CTRL-C, CTRL-V from say Martha Stewart). If we take YouTube’s issues with copyright one can assume Knol will be similarly plagued.
The question to really ask though is why is the newly launched site, the real smell the coffee moment that ends the debate about Google being a media vs. technology company?
Well, Knol highlights that Google all ready have some of the largest largest media sites on the web with YouTube and Blogger. AdViking put together the graph below on Alexa and as you can see Google.com, Blogger.com and YouTube.com have about a 60% reach.
So, as Harvard Business School Professor, David Yoffie says:
If I am a content provider and I depend upon Google as a mechanism to drive traffic to me, should I fear that they may compete with me in the future? The answer is absolutely, positively yes.