In the comments to his points on why ““Rupert Murdoch to Block Google = Smart = Twitter has changed it all“, Mark Cuban gives the best summary about why all the traffic that Google brings to News Corp isn’t worth diddly:
“[News Corp] have tons of unsold inventory of ads right now. They dont need new traffic. BAck in the day search engines were a great way to discover new websites as sources of information. Today, that is no longer the case. Fox wants you to come to them as your destination. Just like they do for Fox News on TV. If you cant get to them through Google, you have to make a choice. Go to them directly, which they hope will become a habit, or ignore them. While they know they might lose some people, losing some visitors wont cost them money because they have excess inventory. On the flipside, they know that viewers that go directly to foxnews.com and other newscorp sites will be visitors that are far more engaged and committed to their site. That is more attractive to advertisers.” (My emphasis)
People who haven’t worked in publishing, or who have been the kind of journalists who divorce themselves from the business of publishing, very rarely get this. More traffic does not equal more revenue. A niche where you can demonstrate you are getting a particular target market and engaging them deeply is much, much more valuable.
And he’s right about Twitter, too. The percentage of links that I click on which crop up on Twitter is very, very high. My friends are my filter, which means that when a link crops up I already know it’s likely to be interesting and relevant to me. The human “editors” in my friends list perform far better filtering than any machine algorithm does – which is why Twitter outperforms Google News easily.
(Picture of Rupert Murdoch from World Economic Forum.)
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