Google to reduce organic search rankings for copyright violators:understanding traditional and Google AdWords revenue models

Organic search on Google is just great and that is the reason the search engine is so popular. According to a blog post by Amit Singhal SVP Engineering at Google  there are 200 criteria that the Google ranking algorithm considers before ranking a particular website against a query. The copyright violator websites will be ranked lower when there are multiple complaints of violation against a website. But as  Singhal clarifies, only the lawful copyright holder can claim copyright and courts need to decide. So why this search ranking criteria change? This as  the Google revenue model of Google AdWords is built around " relevant to search"  content – legitimate mainstream old media companies were crying foul: Google was advertising around their content while the content itself was getting pirated and ranking high in organic search. It is therefore important to understand the old media revenue model compared to the Google AdWords revenue model.

  • Traditional  revenue model  Traditional revenue models around content was that you developed content and gathered a viewership or readership. Thus TV channels like NBC,CBS etc. are offered free and the programming costs are covered by TV advertising. Selling advertising on TV is all about emphasizing audience segments that can be targeted through a particular soap or reality show.  It's another matter that folks Tivo programs and try hard to skip ads. Similarly newspapers and magazines are offered at very low cover prices but a readership is developed. These readers  and their profiles are the basis for soliciting print ads from advertisers. In both these traditional formats , the advertiser pays for the ads but is never sure whether the target audience really saw the ad – let alone how far the prospect moved along the sales cycle to actually buy the product.
  • Google AdWords revenue model depends on content from traditional media.Someone searches for a song and the search words trigger Google AdWords that are relevant to the song being searched. Let's say your song has the word "flower" in the lyric and as soon as you type the line from the song … flower ads pop up. These ads are geo-targeted , so the local flower store can advertise and very low cost. And the best part is that the flower shop pays only on click through unlike the traditional media ads where you pay for space on a newspaper or TV show, not knowing whether your audience will actually watch your ad.  Now from the point of view of the recording company that has copyright on the particular song, in case a pirate site has the song then it loses revenue from sale of the song. To further aggravate the situation the pirate song site can try to raise some more revenue by running another bunch of flower ads now within the site itself. 

Google's focus is providing the best quality organic search results because it knows that so long as searchers like and trust is search results, searcher loyalty will remain strong. At the same time I guess Google understands the unfairness that old media feel about doing all the content creation work as Google earns revenue by just by displaying relevant ad results.  Contact StratoServe.

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