Google wants publishers to stay on board

Google said it respected the copyright of publishers and doesn’t want to lose any from its index.

Marissa Meyer, VP at Google, told delegates at Le Web conference in Paris, that it respected publishers’ copyright.

“Google wants to be as comprehensive a search as possible, so have to respect the copyright… we have to do that. For the quality of the search engine we would hope to keep all publishers in Google,” she said.

But she warned publishers that they needed to do more to engage users in online news. She said that online search reduced the amount of content readers looked for.

“If you search for news you may just read one story – so that is the atomic unit. You land there and just look at the one article.”

Publishers must engage their readers by offering additional relevant content at the bottom of articles and by bringing their content alive.

“Why can we not have a personalised stream of news that includes our broad preferences, our social circle and that is relevant to our location?

“If we can bake all these things together could have a compelling news product. I call it the hyper-personalised news stream.”

So Google still sees a value for news online but believes that it has to become more individually relevant and personalised and alive, in that it continues to develop, to engage readers more.

It is true that news does date very quickly, particularly in the face of real time updates that are now available through the likes of twitter.  

Meyer and Google clearly want to keep Murdoch and his newspapers within the Google body of content, so I believe there is more to run in this story yet.

However, whereas Google will talk about working with publishers, it will also throw the gauntlet back to them to ensure that they are doing the best by their users in the online medium….and that means making their content more alive and engaging to stop users hitting the back button. That’s the challenge.