31 August 2005

Google Adds Insult to Injury for Print Publishers

As nearly every business or professional print publisher is beefing up its Internet presence in order to reclaim ad dollars that have gone online (see the latest news at MIT's Technology Review,, Google has started selling print ads.

From CNET's

"The search king, which makes 99 percent of its revenue from Internet ads, is quietly testing the waters of print advertising sales, according to executives at several companies that have bought the ads. Google recently began buying ad pages in technology magazines, including PC Magazine and Maximum PC, and reselling those pages -- cut into quarters or fifths -- to small advertisers that already belong to its online ad network."

You optimists out there may say, Great news -- Google is boosting revenue for print publishers! (UPDATE: In fact it is. Battelle does the math at Searchblog.)

I say, Eek! Is Google's AdSense platform more capable of selling print ads than the account execs at PC Mag or Maximum PC? As someone who's built a career on the premise that my unique human capabilities captured a premium, this news makes me feel a tad redundant. On the other hand, it signals a leap forward for media companies when self-regulating systems (like those built by Google, Yahoo or eBay) create greater efficiency for both buyers and sellers of marketing services.


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