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Content Aware media news: December 21, 2023

Google doing the content robbery thing, spam in results, and great podcasts - all in this week's Content Aware.

Published: 16:00, 21 December 2023
A traffic jam in a big city

"My word... those are my words. And pictures!"
When a publisher lifts your content wholesale to populate its pages, there is a fairly well understood pattern of redress available. When Google does it, what do you do? Take to X, that's what...
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This spam is bad for your health
Lily Ray analyses the absurd growth of spam sites and listings cluttering Google search results, either a cause or symptom connected to the bonfire of the traffic laid firmly at the feet of the algorithms and unknown decisions in tech platform leadership.
Read more

SGE's levers and cogs explained
Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) is something of a blot on the horizon for many publishers: is it a train rushing to squash them, or a lifeboat emerging to save them? We don't know, although most fear it is the former and that provisions to make SGE Google's Next Big Thing sit at the heart of recent turbulence in search and traffic figures. Here's what you need to know about SGE, and how to mitigate for it or leverage it for your benefit.
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Top level views
It's hard to think of a time when so many leaders in the media industry are focusing on the same problems worldwide. Press Gazette canvassed some of the biggest and best thinkers in publishing on their goals and thoughts for 2024. Different speakers, common challenges.
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Traffic still bouncing around
Have the traffic graphs settled down in the run-up to the end of year slowdown? Err, nope.
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RAG-time show
AWS whizz Demian Hess has written at length on innovations in the technology and techniques which can help media and publishers be more successful. Here he delves into the emerging field of AI and specifically Retrieval Augmented Generation - RAG - a next step for improved AI-generated results and a key component of the sort of private model LLM publishers are looking at. GPP allows these models, so do enquire if this is of interest.
Read more

Some listening to tide you over to '24
If you want your fix of voices from the media to keep you sane or fill hours in departure lounges, here's five podcasts that gather some of the most wide ranging views and insight into 'our thing'. If we have sponsored a suggestion, that is coincidental.

  • Prospect Magazine Media Confidential - Great insight and discussions on the people and issues behind the stories, from two of the titans of modern media.
    Prospect Magazine Podcasts
  • People vs Algorithms - Brian Morrissey and friends pick apart the industry, its problems, and its problem-causers in a free-wheeling style that comes from vast experience at the heart of US media.
    People vs Algorithms
  • Media Voices - Working journalists turn the spotlight on themselves and their industry with a business-tinged view of the myriad different aspects of what it means to be a part of the modern media circus.
    Media Voices
  • Press Gazette - Some of the best journalists observing the industry, under the velvet-voiced leadership of an editor who has seen it all. This series takes a very granular look at innovations and ideas which can help make success easier to come by.
    Press Gazette Podcasts
  • The Tip Off - Extraordinary insight into extraordinary stories. First-hand accounts from the people that broke the stories: compelling listening.
    The Tip Off Podcast

More permissions needed
Changes incoming to site owners and the need to obtain specific permission from parents before any of your ad partners get to target ads at under-13s. Assumedly it could be banned altogether, but at least be aware you may have to start eliciting more input from adults on your site.
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Scraping it off
Site scraping is both a vital tool for publishers, and also a source of venom and vitriol. X owner Musk has waded in, with a court case that may make the practice far riskier. Some will cheer, many will scorn.
Read more

That's a wrap
As we turn the lights to dim and put another log on the cosy Glide Towers office fireplace to settle into the quieter period, we wish you all the best and as always hope that the year ahead is better than the year behind. See you in 2024...

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