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Recently, Google has stepped up its effort to improve the quality of its SERPs. But despite its effort, which seems as concerted as it is genuine, one thing is clear: there's only so much that can be done.
Google can't uncover every paid link, and even after cracking down on content farms, there are those who think it hasn't done enough.
iOS, Android, Windows 7, the App Store, Android Market, Windows Marketplace, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Google TV, PS3...
The number of channels and platforms on the internet and mobile internet is astounding. And it's growing practically every single day. In many ways, this is a blessing, but it's also a curse for developers and publishers.
Yesterday, News Corp. made what many publishing executives hope will be
one of the most important announcements in the annals of digital
publishing: the launch of the much-anticipated iPad publication, The
But while subscribing to The Daily is probably accurately described as 'affordable' at 99 cents a week, or $39.99/year, producing the publication isn't. News Corp. has confirmed that its investment to date is already a whopping $30m, and that The Daily will have a weekly overhead of $500,000.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission doesn't think advertisers are doing enough to respect the privacy of consumers online, so it recently proposed the creation of a Do Not Track system for the web that would give consumers the ability to opt out of ad tracking.
There's just one big challenge: making that happen technically.
It has been nearly three years since Google acquired Doubleclick for $3.1bn and despite the fact that Google's largest cash cow is still far and away AdWords, the search behemoth has quietly built up a very strong presence in the display advertising market.
If the numbers from Doubleclick's ad exchange are any indication, that presence will only be getting stronger.
Online content may be sexy, but even on the internet, turning a profit as a publisher isn't always easy, particularly if you rely on ad revenue to pay the bills. After all, today's advertising market has come a long way since the 1990s.
Advertisers have a seemingly unlimited array of
advertising options, and the proliferation of ad networks and
technologies such as retargeting mean that many publishers have seen
their CPMs decline.
According to an AdAge opinion piece by Tom Hespos, who runs a digital marketing firm, advertising is failing publishers.
In Facebook's non-stop push to dominate the world by making its service the social fabric of the web, it has courted developers and publishers with a platform and suite of tools.
Most of these tools give developers and publishers the ability to tap into Facebook's vast audience and its social graph, which is attractive for obvious reasons. In return, Facebook's footprint on the web grows as users are exposed to its functionality almost everywhere they go.
Prior to the launch of the iPad, many magazine publishers hoped that the iPad might do for them what the iPod and iTunes did for digital music: provided a viable marketplace for them to sell their wares. Operative word: sell.
Getting consumers to pay for content has, of course, proven challenging for many magazine publishers. And despite the warm reception the iPad has received from consumers, it hasn't exactly meant overnight success for publishers that have rushed to develop iPad versions of their magazines.
Despite the fact that many publishers have struggled to transform ad-supported content into profit, many publishers have opted to keep the ad-supported content, and forgo a paywall.
And there's a good reason why: it's entirely unclear to many publishers whether a paywall will be profitable or not, and once a paywall goes up, a publisher's audience will almost certainly drop. For many publishers, ad-supported content and a large audience is still more attractive than paid content and a smaller audience.
Tumblr, which has been described as a publishing tool that's somewhere between Twitter/Facebook and a full-fledged blog, is a fast-rising star in the crowded world of social media. It recently passed the one billion post mark, and it counts some pretty prominent publishers, including The Economist and Newsweek, as users.
The latest recognizable name in publishing to jump on the Tumblr bandwagon is The Atlantic. It doesn't know what to expect from its Tumblr experiment, but it's getting involved with Tumblr nonetheless.
If there's a sexy space on the consumer internet right now, group buying is it. Although there are arguments about whether or not market leader Groupon's first national deal with Gap was really as successful as it appears on the surface, one thing is for sure: companies large and small smell big money in group buying deals.
One of those companies is Yelp, and although it has plenty of competition, Yelp may be one of the few upstarts with the potential to put a dent, even if slight, in Groupon's rise.
The Huffington Post, with its legion of unpaid contributors, has provided a controversial model for journalism and publishing in the digital age. Despite the controversy, it's hard to argue that the Huffington Post hasn't had some success with its model thus far.
The model has apparently worked well enough to interest stodgy old publishers to get in on the act. According to a tweet from Forbes editor David M. Ewalt, Forbes.com will soon see its own brand of the HuffPo model: standard journalistic fare supplemented with "a level 2 bottom of the pyramid: 1000s of outside contributors."