Could Google be the solution to charging online?

August 17, 2009

Greenslade has a post on Robert Thomson, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, who has stated that certain websites – like Google, are ‘parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet’, thanks to their profiting from content they don’t produce:

“There is no doubt that’s in the interest of aggregators like Google who have profited from that mistaken perception. And they have little incentive to recognise the value they are trading on that’s created by others.

“Google argues they drive traffic to sites, but the whole Google sensibility is inimical to traditional brand loyalty.

“Google encourages promiscuity – and shamelessly so – and therefore a significant proportion of their users don’t necessarily associate that content with the creator.

Of course, Google also directs vast amounts of traffic to newspaper websites – and Google is providing the advertising, not the newspaper websites. Is this not really any different from a bookshop getting commission when it sells a book by a publisher, rather than consumers going direct to the publisher – something they might not do if they hadn’t come across the book in the shop in the first place?