Rupert Murdoch: Search Engine Attack Dog

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Rupert Murdoch has been the talk of the Internet lately. If you’d like to see why, check out this video in which he says that he plans to start de-indexing his websites from Google and charging people to read news stories on those sites.

If you are wondering what’s so fascinating about Rupert Murdoch saying this then you probably aren’t aware of all the facets of search engine optimization and the history of how search engines came into being – particularly Google. If Murdoch does strike a deal with Microsoft to allow Bing to be the exclusive indexer of his content then that would ultimately change how search engines operate in a big way. It would be even bigger than Google’s big debut in 1998.

Until now, the search engines have all been like the prom queen two months before the prom. If you want to even be considered for a date then you’ve got to chase the crown. The prom queen doesn’t chase; she sits. Everyone else sniffs and begs for a position in the line up.

Rupert Murdoch is threatening to change that. He wants the search engines to beg him to be indexed. And Microsoft is playing along. Evidently, some other news organizations are considering the same move. So the big question is, Can these news organizations change the way search engines operate?

Maybe they can. At least, Rupert Murdoch is banking on it. And Microsoft, eager to challenge Google’s place on the throne, just might be the search engine to let it happen.

But I can’t help but wonder what would happen to the rest of us if Rupert Murdoch succeeds and gets his paycheck from Microsoft. Would that be the way search engines operate in the future? Will they pay us all to be indexed exclusively in their search indexes or do you think this will just all blow over? My bet is Rupert Murdoch is gearing up for a huge fight. But is anyone else betting on him?

Google/YouTube grab billions of eyeballs in August

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According to recent August 2009 data from the comScore Video Metrix service, Google sites (including YouTube) garnered over 10 billion video views in the month of August alone. No other brands came close. Google has the majority of video views considering that overall numbers totaled 25 billion video views, according to the data. That’s a lot of traffic! Microsoft came in at a distant second with only 546 million views for the month with Viacom digital and Hulu coming in just behind in third and fourth place. It’s evident that Google/YouTube has deep penetration when it comes to online videos when you consider that they attracted 121.4 million unique viewers for August. Whenever you see numbers like that, you can expect to see advertisers and marketers flocking toward a medium that can capture that much traffic and keep growing. You can bet that video will be huge in the next year. Keep an eye out for more blog videos, how-to videos, branded content, viral videos, interactive videos, television shows, independent videos and all kinds of advertising to go with it. Let the proliferation begin.

Digitals encouraged to join Traditionals in metrics.

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Young-Bean Song, senior director at Microsoft’s Atlas Institute, has recently posted a directive for online advertisers to take a good hard look at the metrics traditional advertisers use and adopt them in order to sync up with the world of traditional advertising. According to the post, reasons to shun traditional metrics (like Reach, Frequency and Gross Rating Points) fall into three categories: arrogance, fear and ignorance. While current metrics for online advertisers may be powerful and instant, results tend not to be stable and predictable and often don’t make sense in the offline world. Mr. Song goes on to say, “digital folks snicker when they hear advertisers make statements like “TV works” . Turns out, TV does work and there is plenty of quantitative proof that TV advertising drives sales.” It’s easy to want the sexy new shiny thing like digital media to drive marketing budgets, but the truth is, old media is tried and true and still garners most of the media dollars that clients are willing to spend on marketing each year because they know what to expect. Because the digital space is fairly new and often in flux, it’s important to play nice with traditional forms of communication so that marketers can compare apples to apples. Or, you can put all your oranges in one basket and hope the rest of the world follows suit.