Google's Schmidt Says Internet 'Cesspool' Needs Brands
Says the Solution Is Quality Content; Tells Publishers and Editors to 'Increase Your Relevance'
By Nat Ives Published: October 08, 2008 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AdAge.com) --
The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday. Speaking with an audience of magazine executives visiting the Google campus here as part of their annual industry conference, he said their brands were increasingly important signals that content can be trusted. "Brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. Schmidt said. "Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."
Google CEO Eric Schmidt: 'We don't do content. You all create content.'
Photo Credit: Doug GoodmanWelcome words Those were welcome words for the editors and publishers who have been watching the internet draw more and more ad spending every year. Mr. Schmidt took aim, however, at the Association of National Advertisers for opposing Google's planned ad deal with Yahoo. The association has said the deal will diminish competition and help Google and Yahoo increase ad prices. "If you're going to criticize us, criticize us correctly," Mr. Schmidt said. "We're guilty of many things, but that's not one of them."
In a talk that he structured mostly as an invitation for questions and ideas, Mr. Schmidt declined to advise magazines on looking more popular to Google's page-ranking programs. "We don't actually want you to be successful," he said. The company's algorithms are trying to find the most relevant search results, after all, not the sites that best game the system. "The fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance," he added.
On the subject of print, especially newspapers as we have known them, Mr. Schmidt was decidedly gloomy. "The evidence is not good," he said, guessing that the print business will eventually comprise a smaller piece of publishers' much larger online businesses.