In an earlier post I referred to this piece (on a keynote at a B2B trade show) and ranted a bit about trade magazines, the internet, and the like, but it seems the Ad Age story missed what I think is the key piece of blinkered thinking that came from the speech. Rafat points it out:
Trade Companies To Block Google and Other Search Engines?: It is an idea floated by International Data Group CEO Pat Kenealy, no less. He gave a speech recently at American Business Media conference, and also talked about Google’s effect on trade media companies and magazine industry…
In the latest issue of Media Business magazine (it is available as a PDF and rather cumbersome to download, as the whole magazine in split into two PDFs…the Google story is broken in the middle), a story discusses the Google conundrum for magazine publishers…and quotes Kenealy on his speech at the ABM conference: “Kenealy has floated the idea that American Business Media member companies should agree to block Google and other search engines from crawling their sites. Together, these business media companies could develop their own search algorithm, or they might cut a more favorable revenue-sharing deal with an existing search engine, he said.”
Rearrange the deck chairs, boys! Let’s all get a good view of our asses as we sink to the bottom….Sure, you can put your site behind registration, I mean, many do, though they’re learning that even pages behind registration should be visibile in some way to engines. But block search engines? How about next you go off the power grid and start churning butter by hand? And whoa boy, do I want to see the search algorithms these guys might come up with.
Cut a deal with search engines to get revenue for inclusion? Yeah, but it flows the other way in this market. B2B, meet CAP or AdWords. Get the engines to pay you for the honor of searching your content? Er…no. But you might start to think about getting into the domain specific game, where instead of circling wagons, you add value (something most B2B publishers have long ago forgotten about – how much do they really care about high quality editorial, past lip service?). Here’s a place to start….
Meanwhile, note this: Startup TechTarget, which is based entirely on the internet, just got $70 million (that’s Seven Oh) in venture. It’s main competitor besides CNET? IDG. I wonder if it’s interested in blocking search engines. I know from talking to Shelby at CNET that they certainly aren’t, in fact, they’re optimized for search – they want to be found, they think what they have is worth knowing about. Indeed.