Can the News Break Google?

Who wins or loses if publishers like Rupert Murdoch start walling off content from Google News?
  • Transcript


Question: What’s at stake for Google if News Corp or other companies shield their content from your search engine?

Josh Cohen: I mean, I think we -- you know, we certainly want to be as comprehensive as possible, so we hope that all publishers continue to allow us to index their information. But I think there are just -- there are so many different sources that are out there, depending on what it is, I think there are just so many different ways to get at that information. Again, unique information that's not available within Google -- that's not good for us. I would also argue, because of the value that we deliver publishers, it's probably not a great outcome for them too. So I think it's -- I think we -- it really is a symbiotic relationship, that there is value for us in being able to have that information on our site, and there's value for them in helping us -- in having us direct people over to their sites.

Question: Does confrontation with Murdoch worry you?

Josh Cohen: No, I mean -- look, these relationships that you have with publishers that really scan -- it spans just a sort of a wide area of interactions with Google. I mean, we work with publishers -- you know, certainly there's the news side of things and the traffic and the distribution of the content, but we have strong partnerships with these publishers, whether it's in the advertising part of our business or YouTube, in content partnerships or technology, or any number of different ways. So, I mean, we value these relationships, and I think we certainly want to continue to work with them. I mean, I was on the other side; I mean, I sort of was used to working with Google, and you know, there's certainly -- you know, trying to figure out how Google works and how to navigate the organization, and it can be challenging for somebody who works at Google, much less somebody from the outside.

And that's a large part of my job, is to try and sort of take that publisher perspective and one that I brought, you know, brought to the table when I came to the job, but also just in the ongoing discussions that I have, to try and, you know, make sure that we can, I think, sort of tie across all the different ways that you work with Google and sort of make it a little bit of an easier interaction. It's -- there's just so many different things there, and on the product side of it we really try and be as nimble as possible, and have these -- you know, not have this overarching bureaucracy that sort of slows us down. But on the partnership side of it, sometimes that can present challenges. So, you know, how do we better engage with publishers? How do we present that more of a holistic view of, you know, what can we do together, and just, you know, leave that sort of somewhat of a white space to say what -- you know, what are the things, what are the important things, that we can think about? How can we innovate together? How can we grow this space?