Meet Dr. Frankengoogle

Is Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) feeling sorry for newspapers? Seriously, I'm asking. At this year's TechCrunch50 conference, company vice president Marissa Mayer introduced an enhancement to Google News: archiving of long-dormant newspaper content.

"Around the globe, we estimate that there are billions of news pages containing every story ever written. And it's our goal to help readers find all of them, from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily. The problem is that most of these newspapers are not available online. We want to change that," wrote product manager Punit Soni in Google's blog.

Assuming there are no copyright issues with the content -- remember Google's awkward tussle with the Author's Guild -- this is an intriguing move. Long dead content resuscitated, and monetized; this July 20, 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for example. Notice the brand-spanking new ads on the right side of the page.

Picture Dr. Victor Frankenstein so obsessed with beating death that he stitches together from once-dead body parts a killer known to us readers as "the monster." Only this monster is Google News: a beast of a content aggregator already worth $100 million that skims ever more ad revenue from content it didn't create.

Not that Gannett (NYSE: GCI  ) , McClatchy (NYSE: MNI  ) , or New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT  ) should be complaining. To the contrary, monetizing long-dead content is key for media companies in the digital age. Just ask Marvel Entertainment (NYSE: MVL  ) , whose library of new and classic digitized comics was overwhelmed by demand in its first hours.

Interestingly, the unveiling comes on the heels of news that Google has struck a deal with General Electric's (NYSE: GE  ) NBC unit to place TV ads on several of its cable channels, including my favorite stock market channel: CNBC.

The message? Living or dead, DoubleGoo is the company you hire to figure out how to monetize your content.

So yeah, maybe Google is Dr. Frankenstein in this story. And maybe it is on the verge of creating another market monster. Would you really be surprised if that were the case? DoubleGoo has a long history of making its rivals -- Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) , especially -- look like Igor.

Get your clicks with related Foolishness:

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had positions in Marvel and Google's shares and LEAP options at the time of publication. He also hunts for the best of tech as a contributor to Motley Fool Rule Breakers, which counts Google among its core holdings. Here's how to try this market-beating service free for 30 days. Get access to all of Tim's Foolish writings here.

Marvel is a Stock Advisor selection. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is returning to NBC after a long hiatus, during which time it made way too many bad romantic comedies.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 723647, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2014 7:58:05 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 10 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,399.67 19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 17.25 0.91%
NASD 4,316.07 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/20/2014 3:59 PM
GOOGL $532.38 Up +9.41 +1.80%
Google (A shares) CAPS Rating: ****
GCI $29.08 Up +1.39 +5.02%
Gannett Co., Inc. CAPS Rating: ***
GE $25.03 Up +0.21 +0.85%
General Electric C… CAPS Rating: ****
MNI $3.00 Up +0.09 +3.09%
The McClatchy Comp… CAPS Rating: *
MVL.DL $54.08 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Marvel Entertainme… CAPS Rating: ****
NYT $12.47 Up +0.22 +1.80%
The New York Times CAPS Rating: *
YHOO $39.28 Up +0.83 +2.16%
Yahoo CAPS Rating: ***

Advertisement