Leaked from Google: Print Publishers Are More Credible

[responsive]google[/responsive]It looks like Google has a crush on traditional print publishers, according to an article by D. Eadward Tree in Publishing Executive. The article refers to an internal Google doc that was leaked this spring.

According to Tree, “[the report] is full of favorable references to print publications and their associated websites. It shows that Google’s attempts to favor webpages with ‘expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness’ are playing right into the hands of respected publishers who practice real journalism.”

What can publishers take away from this information? Plenty, says Tree, primarily that quality will win in the long haul.

“Google wisely places a high value on the hallmarks of good journalism—content that is ‘created with a high degree of time and effort, and in particular, expertise, talent, and skill’ where there is a clear line between content and promotional material.”

Other things Google looks for are bylines, a lack of invasive ads, and avoiding click-baiting. And ultimately, Tree notes, “editorial integrity matters.”

“Google obviously places a high value on content that is free of commercial interest. Shilling is killing; if you publish puff pieces for your advertisers, your search results will suffer,” he writes.

What’s ironic here is the frenzy with which the digital publishing world works to convince Google that they putting out credible content. It worked, for a while.

“An entire industry grew up around trying to game search results, with spammy and shady websites usually leaving traditional publishers in the dust,” Tree notes. “But, increasingly, Google love will go to sites that do what respected publishers have been doing for decades—providing people the information they need and can rely upon.”

This is great news for print publishers that post their quality content online, and sends a strong message to the wanna-bes to ramp up their quality and their integrity.