Search Pirates! Magazines Battle Over Keywords — Their Own
Magazines are buying up their competitors’ keywords to pirate their Google search. Case in point: Bruce Rhodes, circulation director at the Harvard Business Review, told the audience at a Folio: Show session this week that he recently did a Google search for Harvard Business Review and found one of HBR’s chief competitors, Sloan Management Review, an M.I.T. journal, as one of the sponsored links.
“There’s not much you can do about it,” Rhodes said. “You can enforce your copyright so your competitors don’t use your name in their sponsored Google link. But other than that, you either pay more, or deal with it.”
And it’s not just Harvard Business Review. Magazine titles are increasingly facing competition for keywords from both competitors and non-endemics. Celebrity titles In Touch and Us Weekly appear to be owned by ABC’s Dancing with the Stars; Cookie was bought by Mrs. Fields.
A quick Google search of other magazine titles revealed similar instances of so-called keyword pirating, making for some strange bedfellows:
Magazine Search Term
‘Competitor’ Who Bought Keyword
|"Time"||New York Times|
|"PC Magazine"||PC World|
|"In Touch"||Dancing with the Stars|
|"Us Weekly"||Dancing with the Stars|
|"Lucky"||ABC’s Ugly Betty, Lucky Brand Jeans|
|"Elle"||ABC’s Ugly Betty|
|"Golf Magazine"||Golf Digest, Golf World|