The relationship between Google and news media publishers has historically been symbiotic: publishers allow Google to aggregate their content for free and in exchange, Google makes that content accessible to the billions of people using the search engine every day, also for free. In return, Google gets usage and clicks on paid ads adjacent to its search results, and news publishers get traffic and, by proxy, clicks to their advertisers’ websites.
But over the past decade, this relationship between publishers and the search platform has evolved into a vicious cycle. Prime screen real estate on Google search results is now increasingly taken up by links to Google-owned platforms like YouTube, and paid ads take up most of the space “above the fold,” pushing organic results further down the screen. Additionally, Google has started to publish snippets from news stories directly at the top of search results, diverting traffic and ad revenue from the news publishers.
All this adds up to the potential for Big Tech to manipulate ad buyers who base their strategies and budgets on certain expectations, only to have the platforms change the rules of the game to extract more ad spend.
Publishers Taking Aim at Big Tech
Now publishers are taking Google to court – or, at least, trying to in the United States. As of last week, 50 states attorneys general opened an investigation into Google’s advertising policies, such as requiring companies wanting to advertise on one of its platforms to use its own services and forcing companies to out-bid competitors for the use of their own brand names.
According to anti-trust laws, the publishers can’t band together as an industry to demand fairer policies from Big Tech companies. So they’re finding ways to change the law.
Organizations like the News Media Alliance have worked with legislators in the House and Senate to introduce the Journalism Conservation & Protection act, which will “provide a safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with tech platforms”
An Opportunity to Sell Better?
We’ve long advocated for a consultative selling approach toward ad sales, and this recent news is a fantastic opportunity to discuss the following points with prospects:
- The Impact of Trust on Consumer Engagement
- The Ease of Doing Business with Forward-Thinking Publishers
- The Decreasing Effectiveness of Search Engine Marketing
- The Importance of Brand Safety in Ad Placement
We’ve compiled a free guide to these talking points, including when to use them and why they work. Download the guide now and don’t miss this opportunity to help your prospects connect the dots between current events and their bottom line.