Over and over I’ve predicted that Google will be forced to act like a publisher, because there’s only so much demand that can be harvested, and sooner or later, Google’s core revenue-generating customers – that’d be marketers – will demand some help creating supply.
Supply means branding, and branding happens in the magical world of publishing. Here are two additional Google initiatives that point the company toward that world:
A Cnet piece giving an overiew of Google’s attempt to curate value from the wisdom of the masses. Called What’s Popular.
Never seen this site before, but the woman who writes is managed to get into a party where she talked to Eric Schmidt. From the piece:
I asked if the rumors I’d heard, that Google was changing its mind about getting involved with creating original content, were true. No, he responded, quite convincingly, they’re not. Google is not a content company, and is not going in that direction, he explained. But Google does have plans for a solution. In about six months, the company will roll out a system that will bring high-quality news content to users without them actively looking for it. Under this latest iteration of advanced search, users will be automatically served the kind of news that interests them just by calling up Google’s page. The latest algorithms apply ever more sophisticated filtering – based on search words, user choices, purchases, a whole host of cues – to determine what the reader is looking for without knowing they’re looking for it. And on this basis, Google believes it will be able to sell premium ads against premium content.
If this is true (sending a note now to ask), it’s a big step.