The Conceptual Librarian

June 26, 2008

Hey Google! Where’s my percentage?

Filed under: Uncategorized — conceptlib @ 2:20 pm
Tags: , ,

Google is exploiting your website to build up advertising profiles of people who visit it via the Google search engine.

They are benefiting from your site for free.

You may be under the illusion that there’s no advertising on your site, but in the words of Norman Mailer, it is an advertisement for itself – with all the profits going to Google and its clients. That is, when you visit a particular site (which has no advertising), Google records what you like, so at the next opportunity where there is advertising space, you’ll get the good oil.

The Google juggernaut thinks and acts laterally. It’s not interested in your nickel and dime website per se, except for the advertising revenue your existence can generate. For example if you regularly visit ad-free library sites, don’t be surprised you’re bombarded with book and magazine subscription ads when you next check out the news. Google gets the advertising dollar, Barnes and Noble may get a sale, the third party site which provided the click through gets its cut and the poor old library struggling for funding is left high and dry.

Libraries can profit from this new paradigm by developing an “unholy alliance” with commercial enterprises through mash-ups on their catalog. Borrowers can find more information on a book from amazon.com [for example] before they reserve it, or, if there is a waiting list they could buy it themselves, giving the library a cut of the profits (if you click through to amazon from the library site).

Google has armies of crawling robots forever seeking out new marketing opportunities. Google knows that if you find what you’re looking for on the web, it can sell it to you.

The WWW has been transformed into a giant sales catalog and if you have a website you can’t escape being part of it.

That’s why you either join in the goldrush, or, if you insist on clinging to arcane principles, stew while the rest of the world profits from your hard work.

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