This week, another small, fiercely-independent magazine folded (â€śAnother Small Music Magazine Bites the Dustâ€ť). The publisher, as they often do, wrote an apologetic, heartfelt, 1,000-word note to subscribers detailing the constant struggle that is being an independent magazine publisher in 2008.
Itâ€™s also one of the best â€śexitâ€ť memos Iâ€™ve read in awhile (sadly, there have been enough of these lately to compare), touching not only on the â€śharsh and sudden shockâ€ť of having to fold, but also on the blood, sweatâ€”the love, reallyâ€”that went into launching a magazine like this (â€śResonance began in a bedroom, moved to a living room, then, for the second half of the magazine's existence, persisted in the two-room atticâ€ť) in the first place.
Here it is, in full:
To our dear friends and supporters: In January 2008, immediately before going to press with our 55th issue, we were forced to stop printing Resonance. The financial challenge of publishing an independent magazine finally overwhelmed us. Fueled by the tireless support of many people (readers, subscribers, staff, freelancers, advertisers, publicists, as well as long-suffering spouses and significant others), we stubbornly survived on a shoestring budget and volunteer staff for 14 years. Such a business model isn't sustainable forever. Independent publishing has always been a challenge; the recent couple of years, however, have been a much greater struggle due a number of factors, not the least of which include: downturns in the magazine and music industries; rising paper, production and postage costs; the list goes on. We've always been a small-budget business, but we nonetheless made additional spending cuts wherever possible, many of them painful (being unable to pay staff for the previous year, for one). In the past we had survived the lean times by borrowing on credit to cover shortfalls, but these gaps have been steadily increasing to an unmanageable degree. I believed we would manage financially, like usual, by the skin of our teeth. Our debt finally reached its limitâ€”immediately before going to press with issue 55. This was a harsh and sudden shock. We had worked tirelessly and in good faith these past several months to produce the best issue possible in terms of editorial, design and integrity. So although not in hardcopy, we hope you will read our final issue, Resonance 55. With the help of contributors from around the globe, we pour hundreds, maybe thousands, of work hours into assembling each edition. This issueâ€”even if only in digital formâ€”shines as one of our best ever and will be permanently available on this site as a free, high-resolution download. Resonance 54, the first issue of 2007's bold redesign, is also posted here. Please download, enjoy, and share the link with others, too.To our subscribers: You believed in our vision and are the most valued supporters of Resonance. Only one subscriber ever requested a refund since we began publishing. For this faithful support, accept my deepest gratitude. What may be harder to accept is my apology. We will take care of you, and are negotiating to ensure that all subscriptions will be fulfilled by another music title. I know this is not at all ideal. I am sorry. Please understand that this is our only option. For the near term at least, Resonance as a media vehicle is on indefinite hiatus, and continuing a print version at a future date is highly unlikely. A more viable route may be to phoenix ourselves online with a site devoted to the same vision (and with a massively diminished carbon footprint). We shall see.+++++++++++++++++++Resonance launched in 1994 and consistently published quarterly editions for 14 years. The initial focus of Resonance was electronic music, but within the first year the mission evolved to focus on emerging artistic innovation itself, first across music genres, then encompassing other media such as books, film and the visual arts. The goal was to promote imagination in music and art, beyond the constraints of a single genre or medium. Creativity rarely stays in a vacuum, it explodes and interacts and influences everything around it. In the mid-'90s, the internet was making this synergy among media all the easier. We wanted a magazine that reflected this same kind of open-minded interconnectivity. Then, eschewing a narrow niche was considered ill-conceived marketingâ€”we took the risk anyway. Now, such a kaleidoscope approach is common. We like to think we played a role in expanding the old, rigid view of what a magazine could be. Eclectic content became one of the defining traits of the magazine. We wanted Resonance to cover media readers could actually talk about. So we launched a film department, featured visual art, and strongly developed our literature content. In fact, our feature interviews with book and graphic-novel authors count among some of our proudest pieces: e.g. David Sedaris, Miranda July, Eric Schlosser, Douglas Coupland, Chuck Palahniuk, Tony Millionaire, Irving Welsh, to name a very few ... and we put Eightball and Ghostworld creator Dan Clowes on the cover of issue 47. Resonance even received an Independent Press Award nomination for its arts and literature coverage from the Utne Reader. None of us got much monetary gain from Resonance. As publisher, I barely made a living wage. The editors and contributors worked for small stipends or simply volunteered. We never had a real office, eitherâ€”Resonance began in a bedroom, moved to a living room, then, for the second half of the magazine's existence, persisted in the two-room attic of a rented house in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. But financial reward was never the point for anyone involved. It was to be a part of something sincere, a cause to believe in, a labor of love fiercely committed to editorial integrity and excellence. We wanted to create an oasis amid a sea of advertorial-riddled media churning out predictable coverage of the newest flavor of the month (indie or otherwise). So we filled most of every edition with little-known artists creating something more ... inventive. And we were never afraid to go as far as giving them their first U.S. magazine cover, either (Lali Puna, Goldfrapp, MIA, Bobby Conn, Dan Deacon, Octopus Project, to name a few). Whenever we had the opportunity, we tried to create content as unconventional as the artists Resonance championed. Perhaps our most unique achievement was orchestrating a dialogue between Thom Yorke and author Howard Zinn in issue 39â€”a worldwide-exclusive feature some readers thought was a fabrication. It wasn't. Even with interviews we looked for refreshing ways to engage artists, such as the single-topic Final Cut department, in which we shared candid, often hilarious, chats with diverse personalities such as David Byrne, Diamanda Galas, Afrika Bambaataa, Boy George, Britt Daniel, Vincent Gallo and many more. Our Toolkit page, for another example, showcased interviewees illustrating their answer to the question "What does your favorite song look like?" using only the limited (and masochistic) art supplies our staff provided. Yeah, we liked to play around, a lot. A content mix of erudite and silly kept Resonance from becoming a somber, geeky journal for pundits. It was a nice balance. Besides, who wants to work for peanuts without some good laughs? Our penchant for costumes, props and mischief kept the photography lively, for sure. Long-suffering artists became characters as cartoonish as wing-and-halo'ed angels (Mogwai), Soviet comrades (Mates of State), hotel-room trashers (the Flaming Lips), and silver-skinned visitors from the future (Le Savy Fav). Our most outrageous stunt was in 2000 when Yo la Tengo conspired with us to do a cover photo shoot, not of the band themselves, but with three unknown impersonators instead: a trio of attractive, young Latin models. The cover's headline read: "The sexy makeover of a hot Latin trio." Most readers got the joke, others believed the models were the band. Yo la Tengo's record label Matador responded with a cease-and-desist letter from their attorney that threatened legal action for misrepresenting their artists, citing "gross non-compliance of the fair-use agreement regarding Yo La Tengo imagery." We published the letter in the following issue. Many readers, Resonance staff, and Matador fans were alarmed that such a credible indie label would be so devoid of humor. Well ... they're not. The legal threat was also a joke, kept secret until now. Thanks to the label's then-publicist Ben Goldberg for help orchestrating it all, and for keeping mum for eight years. God, to this day I still chuckle about that.Since 1994, Resonance celebrated the forward regions of music, books, film and the visual arts. We've always aimed to create a friendly mosaicâ€”a mix of what's next, innovative and inspiringâ€”accessible to everybody in one nicely designed package. That's what we ask readers to remember about Resonance. And if we reemerge online, the same spirit will continue. We've had a lot of fun along the wayâ€”I hope you have, too. To all supporters of Resonance, thank you.With warmest regards, Andrew Monko, publisherResonance Magazine
In earlier posts I have cautioned against adding online products to your magazine's brand portfolio because other publications seem to succeed at using them. There are strategic reasons for all online products but they may not fit your requirements. For example, blogs are fantastic web site traffic builders that can lift site traffic and thus rates. But trying to monetize blogs directly by selling sponsorships on them is typically much harder.
This week's Economist turns that same analysis to social networking and comes up with a similar cautionary tale:
"The big internet and media companies have bid up the implicit valuations of MySpace, Facebook and others. But that does not mean there is a working revenue model. Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, recently admitted that Google's â€śsocial networking inventory as a wholeâ€ť was proving problematic and that the â€śmonetisation work we were doing there didn't pan out as well as we had hoped.â€ť Google has a contractual agreement with News Corp to place advertisements on its network, MySpace, and also owns its own network, Orkut. Clearly, Google is not making money from either.Facebook, now allied to Microsoft, has fared worse. Its grand attempt to redefine the advertising industry by pioneering a new approach to social marketing, called Beacon, failed completely. Facebook's idea was to inform a user's friends whenever he bought something at certain online retailers, by running a small announcement inside the friends' â€śnews feedsâ€ť. In theory, this was to become a new recommendation economy, an algorithmic form of word of mouth. In practice, users rebelled and privacy watchdogs cried foul. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder, admitted in December that â€śwe simply did a bad job with this releaseâ€ť and apologised.So it is entirely conceivable that social networking, like web-mail, will never make oodles of money. That, however, in no way detracts from its enormous utility. Social networking has made explicit the connections between people, so that a thriving ecosystem of small programs can exploit this â€śsocial graphâ€ť to enable friends to interact via games, greetings, video clips and so on."
"The big internet and media companies have bid up the implicit valuations of MySpace, Facebook and others. But that does not mean there is a working revenue model. Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, recently admitted that Google's â€śsocial networking inventory as a wholeâ€ť was proving problematic and that the â€śmonetisation work we were doing there didn't pan out as well as we had hoped.â€ť Google has a contractual agreement with News Corp to place advertisements on its network, MySpace, and also owns its own network, Orkut. Clearly, Google is not making money from either.
Facebook, now allied to Microsoft, has fared worse. Its grand attempt to redefine the advertising industry by pioneering a new approach to social marketing, called Beacon, failed completely. Facebook's idea was to inform a user's friends whenever he bought something at certain online retailers, by running a small announcement inside the friends' â€śnews feedsâ€ť. In theory, this was to become a new recommendation economy, an algorithmic form of word of mouth. In practice, users rebelled and privacy watchdogs cried foul. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder, admitted in December that â€śwe simply did a bad job with this releaseâ€ť and apologised.
So it is entirely conceivable that social networking, like web-mail, will never make oodles of money. That, however, in no way detracts from its enormous utility. Social networking has made explicit the connections between people, so that a thriving ecosystem of small programs can exploit this â€śsocial graphâ€ť to enable friends to interact via games, greetings, video clips and so on."
Read the whole article here ...
I just got an e-mail from a spokeperson for Newsweek confirming that 111 of the 150 staffers offered buyouts are leaving the magazine. They're calling it a "voluntary retirement program."
Here's Newsweek's statement:
"Confronting the challenges in todayâ€™s media climate, we recently offered a voluntary retirement program to some of our employees. We were fortunate to be able to provide generous packages for eligible staffers who wanted to move on, while also saving on some of our existing expenses. A number of the familiar faces who accepted the offer, including David Ansen, David Gates, Cathleen McGuigan, Mark Starr and John Barry, will continue to contribute to the magazine and Newsweek.com. And, of course, Newsweek remains home to Jonathan Alter, Sharon Begley, Ellis Cose, Chris Dickey, Howard Fineman, Daniel Gross, Mark Hosenball, Mike Isikoff, Melinda Liu, Johnnie Roberts, Evan Thomas, Fareed Zakaria, Anna Quindlen , George Will and many other star journalists. New voices will be joining Newsweek too. We will continue to invest in Newsweek, newsweek.com and other new ventures, which collectively will strengthen our companyâ€™s long-term health and vibrancy. We are committed to producing the compelling, innovative and news-breaking journalism that has defined Newsweek for its 75-year history."
When you're a $5 billion publisher like Time Inc., you can afford to hire someone like David Refkin as director of sustainable development. Indeed, the company has been studying the impact of its entire production process. At the MPA's 2008 Retail Conference in Tampa, Florida today, Refkin discussed Time Inc.'s efforts in environmental sustainability, offering up figures that give some insight into the company's impact:
Refkin also said that only one out of six magazines in the home get recycled, and that Time Inc. has partnered with Verso Paper to increase consumer awareness, spending $5 million on outdoor advertising and another $6 million in magazines to push recyclable messaging. To learn more about the publisher's efforts, keep an eye out for its sustainability report due out in April.
New York magazine is no stranger to controversial covers (see its Lindsay Lohan cover and accompanying, server-melting photo shoot a few weeks back). But when the story of New York governor Eliot Spitzer's shocking involvement in a prostitution ring broke early (Monday) in the magazine's print cycle (New York publishes on Mondays), it put the magazine in a tricky spot: it would be six days until it had its turnâ€”six days of New York Post covers, blog posts, tabloid headlines and late-night joke fodderâ€”to weigh in with a cover of its own. And it delivered a memorable, edgy one.We asked some of our design friends to critique New York's Spitzer cover. First up, Tim O'Brien, the illustrator behind the subject of our last cover critiqueâ€”Rolling Stone's Obama.NAME: Tim O'BrienTITLE: freelance illustrator; VP, the Society of IllustratorsCRITIQUE: The March 24th cover of New York Magazine is a funny and effective catharsis for the shocked New Yorkers. Swept into office with a wave of hope and enthusiasm, it was all undone by lust and hypocrisy. The cover image, an awkward shot of Spitzer shot from above making him look small is effective in shrinking a small man even smaller. Not knowing where to put his hands he forms a halo over his crotch; completely unintentional I'm sure but there it is. The use of white isolating his figure adds to the look, one that is reminiscent of the famous George Lois Esquire cover of Muhammad Ali pierced by arrows. The cherry on the top is a Barbara Kruger-esque sign and arrow that sends it over the top. Over the top is what this story is and the cover is perfect.
NAME: Laura WallTITLE: design director, Pace CommunicationsCRITIQUE: Wow. What a good reminder to NEVER run for public office. New York magazine held nothing back on this cover. Itâ€™s clean, powerful and probably award-winning. Iâ€™d hate to be Spitzerâ€”how completely humiliating!NAME: Anthony FickeTITLE: creative director, CAB CommunicationsCRITIQUE: Well, I must say I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to design, but to put it bluntly ... this is pretty ballsy of a cover. The power created from this cover is that you were able to sum up an entire nation's exact same thought with only one word! Nothing else needs to be said on the cover, yet you are compelled to read the story, if only to see what lines the author might have crossed. Most importantly, the goal of intriguing the reader has definitely been achieved. On another note, I really like that the New York logo breaks away from the edge to give a photo-negative feel.
NAME: Marco TurelliTITLE: art director, Wine EnthusiastCRITIQUE: Image and concept is brilliant! Will it sell magazines based on lack of cover lines and starkness of image? Who knows. Do I see it winning awards? Probably. Does Mr. Spitzer want to get away? You bet he does.
NAME: JosĂ© ReyesTITLE: creative director/Principal Metaleap DesignCRITIQUE: I appreciate how they showed a photo of Eliot in a way that was not disdainful, disrespectfulÂ or shamingâ€”that would be too easy. Instead, they showed how everyone knew himâ€”for better or worseâ€”which makes for a much more compelling cover. An argument for the internal battle of personal restraint and what we allow the world to see vs. what we are capable of doing and hiding from others seems to also be a subtle statement that the editors are making with the smiling Spitzer. If so, well done. The cover, in my opinion, is provocative, clear, succinct, humorous and timelyâ€”perfect.
What do you think? Drop me a line [dstableford AT red7media DOT com] or add your own critiques in the comments section below.
I wanted to broach the subject that Iâ€™m sure many editors, writers, art directors, et al. have come across over the years, and thatâ€™s the influence of other publications. Iâ€™m not talking plagiarism, just borrowing a good idea.
In the two years that Iâ€™ve been at the helm of Southern Breeze I havenâ€™t been trying to reinvent the wheel, but I have been slowly nudging the magazine into a different arena with a more cutting edge, contemporary, and, yes, even urban feel. As a regional/lifestyle publication with Deep South roots, it would be far too easy to continue down the path of least resistance. But the South is changing. So, too, should its magazines.
Yes, we still have recipes, shopping, home fashion and all the things that make for a perfectly comfortable fit with our affable and affluent audience. But I felt the magazine could do more to truly reflect the diversity along the Gulf Coast.
Homage on the Range
I came up with the idea for our most recent cover [pictured above, right] while at a photo shoot for a piece on New Orleans pride as part of our new â€śSouthern Breeze Hot List.â€ť In previous years Southern Breeze has had a â€śBest Ofâ€ť issue but trying to fit almost 30 topics into six to eight pages resulted in scattershot, albeit eclectic, feature. After seeing the photos at the shoot, I suggested using this as a cover option when my art director, Catherine, was not overly enthused by the other shots she had in her canon.
Once she sent out cover comps to me and my staff, we took a look at all 12 of them, and I picked the one above as my favorite [the one to the left is a typical cover from before my reign]. As my staff and I looked at the printouts, my assistant editor noted that the one I chose was just like a Time Out New York cover.
And then it hit me: Hell yeah, it looked like a TONY cover because that is my all-time favorite magazine and Iâ€™ve gleaned ideas from insideâ€”and now, outsideâ€”its pages for a while, even before coming to Southern Breeze. For example, while managing editor at the late, great Lighting Dimensions we instituted a redesign and I suggested a â€ś5 Questions With â€¦â€ť for the front of book, similar to TONYâ€™s â€śThree Questions For â€¦â€ť in its FOB. It was included and proved to be a popular featurette. (The â€ś5 Questions With â€¦â€ť survived Lighting Dimensionsâ€™ merger with Entertainment Design to become Live Design, which is more than I can say for the managing editor!)
So I guess my question is: Is it wrong to borrow from other magazines? Itâ€™s certainly not due to a lack of original ideas on our part, but I feel that if you see something that another magazine is doing that you think would work in your own publication, then why not? Besides, when I look at some of Southern Breezeâ€™s competitors, itâ€™s obvious theyâ€™ve borrowed a fair amount from us. Thankfully, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
The Sports Illustrated's recently-launched SI Vault is a treasure trove of weirdo vintage covers, as Gawker recently discovered. Just how weird? That cover above is merely the tip of the wack iceberg. (I wonder what the people who are criticizing Vogue for its Lebron and Gisele cover would've said about this one.)
Itâ€™s true! Greenspun is planning to hire a veritable army of 30 to 50 new online staffers over the next six months for its â€ścategory crushingâ€ť Web site, the companyâ€™s president Michael Carr wrote in an e-mail FOLIO: today. The tip came from this comment, posted to our original story earlier this week:
There is a rumor that seems pretty credible that they are hiring close to 50 new web people in 2008. I saw a couple of folks from the [Las Vegas] Sun speak in San Francisco this week, and it was definitely the most impressive local news site I've seen. If those are the folks who are building the sites that this guy is talking about, then I have got to believe that they are going to do something interesting.
And this despite Greenspunâ€™s decision this week to shutter its monthly Las Vegas Life and transition its content online, although that move may have had more to do with the fact that LVL was rubbing up against Greenspunâ€™s other luxury glossy, Vegas.
After reading your critiques of the Rolling Stone Obama cover, Tim O'Brien writes:
I'm the illustrator who painted Barack for the cover of Rolling Stone. It seems you've selected a group of designers with a lack of understanding of what Rolling Stone was doing here.[Rolling Stone makes] no bones about viewing Barack in the most hopeful light. At the time of publication, the newsstands were brimming with photographs of the man, so in this instance, they chose illustration to push the cover out there to get some buzz. I seem to get used when the art director or editor is trying to make a serious point about a person. Sometimes it's a mocking image, such as a golden glow around a portrait of Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro, and sometimes it's reeled in a bit to showcase a person in a respectful tone. I happen to like the cover and know that the ADs at Rolling Stone were thrilled.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: To check out more of Tim's work, including a detailed account of what went into executing the Obama cover, click here ...]
For awhile, two stories in Radarâ€™s April issue were contending for the coveted title of Most Buzzed About. One was John Cookâ€™s no-holds-barred examination of Scientologyâ€™s recent struggles with anonymous hackers, outspoken ex-members and leaked internal videos featuring Tom Cruiseâ€™s steely-eyed reveries. The other was the 350-word debut of a new advice column, â€śYo Spencer!,â€ť in which Hills heel Spencer Pratt helps readers grapple with their personal quandaries. On the surface, the piecesâ€”a hard-hitting investigative feature and a cheap blog-baiting stuntâ€”couldnâ€™t be more different. But they spring from the same basic impulse. In both cases, the aim was to go where other publications generally fear to tread (I donâ€™t know whatâ€™s worse, being on the Sea Orgâ€™s bad side, or on Lauren Conradâ€™s). As a new magazine in a crowded marketplace, Radar has no real choice but to take risks whenever possible. Otherwise we duplicate whatâ€™s already on the newsstand, in which case, why bother? Weâ€™ve published nine issues under our new owners, but there are still plenty of potential readers out there (millions, by my count) who have never heard of us. The cheapest, most effectiveâ€”and frankly the most funâ€”way to reach them is by assigning and running stories that foment these little media frenzies we all love so much.At the moment, it looks like Spencer Pratt is pulling into the lead in that regard. Even the Associated Press covered his foray into magazine journalism, which turns out to be, to my mind, one of the more enjoyably frank advice columns available. Nevertheless, the idea has been a bit controversial around the Radar offices. Some colleagues wondered if Spencer could really write. (He can.) Others decried the idea of soliciting advice from a guy most of America is convinced is nothing but a Machiavellian hustler. (Who better?) And then there were the hardcore haters, who crinkle their noses at the merest mention of the new addition to our writing stable. Of course, most of this last bunch are card-carrying members of Team Lauren, still fuming over Heidiâ€™s â€śbetrayalâ€ť of their doormat diva. To them I can only point out that we put their Hollywood heroine on our March cover and declared her the most influential fashionista of the moment. After all, we always strive for balance.
Time Out Chicago issued this press release Tuesday:
DONALD TRUMP TAKES OVER TIME OUT CHICAGOCHICAGO, March 25, 2008â€”Time Out Chicago announces that real-estate titan Donald J. Trump has purchased a controlling interest in the where-to-go, what-to-do weekly.Starting next week, readers of Time Out Chicago will notice several significant changes.Most prominently, the magazineâ€™s logo will be modifiedâ€”in Chicago onlyâ€”to include the signature glitzy T that adorns Trumpâ€™s properties, including the new Trump International Hotel & Tower here.Time Out founder Tony Elliott, who long has resisted selling off the publishing empire he launched in London 40 years ago, says Trumpâ€™s premium bid will enable the company to more quickly expand into multiple new markets in North America and the U.K.In a meeting held with Time Out Chicago staff Tuesday outside his new downtown hotel, Trumped stated, â€śI am hugely excited about what is a truly huge opportunity for Trump Entertainment and an even huger opportunity for the people of Chicago.â€ťLaunched in 2005, Time Out Chicago is recognized as a leading source of information for arts, entertainment and culture. The signature of Time Out Chicago is its comprehensive listings sections and irreverent features, offering both insight and information on music, clubs, film, theater, dining, drinking, books, shopping and more â€“ all written and edited by a passionate staff of locals who are experts in their respective fields.###
DONALD TRUMP TAKES OVER TIME OUT CHICAGOCHICAGO, March 25, 2008â€”Time Out Chicago announces that real-estate titan Donald J. Trump has purchased a controlling interest in the where-to-go, what-to-do weekly.
Starting next week, readers of Time Out Chicago will notice several significant changes.Most prominently, the magazineâ€™s logo will be modifiedâ€”in Chicago onlyâ€”to include the signature glitzy T that adorns Trumpâ€™s properties, including the new Trump International Hotel & Tower here.Time Out founder Tony Elliott, who long has resisted selling off the publishing empire he launched in London 40 years ago, says Trumpâ€™s premium bid will enable the company to more quickly expand into multiple new markets in North America and the U.K.In a meeting held with Time Out Chicago staff Tuesday outside his new downtown hotel, Trumped stated, â€śI am hugely excited about what is a truly huge opportunity for Trump Entertainment and an even huger opportunity for the people of Chicago.â€ťLaunched in 2005, Time Out Chicago is recognized as a leading source of information for arts, entertainment and culture. The signature of Time Out Chicago is its comprehensive listings sections and irreverent features, offering both insight and information on music, clubs, film, theater, dining, drinking, books, shopping and more â€“ all written and edited by a passionate staff of locals who are experts in their respective fields.###
Crain's Chicago business took the bait.
Time Out called Crain's, then issued another press release admitting the hoax.
Despite the ridiculous quote from Trump (three "huge"s?â€”c'mon, Crain's!) don't be too hard on 'emâ€”this was, after all, released on March 25th!
As noted in the Times earlier this week, Google
users can now search deep into content sites without leaving Google, bypassing
publishers' own search functions entirely.
Publishers, contemplating the resulting page view migration from their
sites to Google, have reacted negatively and some have asked Google to stop
providing the extra search box underneath the results for their site.
Here how it works: I'm looking for an article I saw recently
in Scientific American on particle physics so I google "SciAm." The first search result contains a search box
incorporated with the SciAm.com links, so I type in "particle physics" there and
get a page of relevant results from just SciAm.
I see my article on click on it.
Voila! Google creates one additional page view for Google (the second
search results page) and at least two fewer for SciAm (their home page and
their own search results page).
To most publishers, this probably seems like piling on. Google is already probably your number one
source of external traffic. They may
also be your fallback ad network, selling inventory on your site to blue chip
advertisers and keeping most of the revenue.
You don't want to antagonize them, for fear of losing your hard-won SEO
gains (I'm getting a little skittish even writing this post).
This latest move highlights the strategic necessity of
growing organic traffic and internal sales ability, reducing your Google
dependency. A good role model is ESPN
who announced this week that they
are ditching ad networks entirely. Google
may be "doing no evil" to your business, but they're not interested in giving
you any help.