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Report Claims Decline in News Media Earnings Not Google’s Fault via @sejournal, @martinibuster



New research produced by Accenture and commissioned by Google claims that decline in Western European news industry revenue was largely due to a catastrophic loss of classifieds revenue.

Loss of News Media Revenue

The news industry tends to blame companies like Google and Facebook for their decline in advertising revenue.

I attended the very first Google Zeitgeist Partner Forum conference in 2005, held at Google’s Mountain View headquarters and listened to keynotes from top executives from companies like the New York Times lay the blame for their declining fortunes on Google.

The loss of advertising revenue in the digital age has been a constant theme for over twenty years around the world and many have pointed to Google as a reason.

But the research report contradicts those claims by providing facts that demonstrate that growth in advertising opportunities are not responsible for displacing traditional advertising.

According to the report:

“…a significant majority (64%) of the growth of online advertising has come from new growth rather than displacing the existing markets of traditional advertising.”


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Classified Ad Revenue is Largely to Blame?

According to the new research, collapse of advertising revenue is to blame for declining news revenue in Western Europe. According to the research, nearly 50% of the income loss is due to the decline of the print classifieds at the news organizations and the rise of third party classifieds.

Illustration of Western European News Media Losses

Graph showing decline in classifieds ad revenue at Western European news media organizationsGraph shows that 44% of the decline in Western European ad revenues was due to a loss of classifieds ad earningsGraph showing decline in classifieds ad revenue at Western European news media organizations

According to the report:


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“The data is clear: Almost half of the overall decline of newspaper revenue has come not from Search or social advertising, but from the loss of newspaper classifieds to specialist online players.

…The majority of advertising in newspapers was made of classifieds like selling cars and homes, or listing jobs, and births and deaths notices.

These advertisements, or “classifieds,” contributed €9.9 billion – almost a quarter – of newspaper revenues, and newspapers collected 93% of all classified advertising in 2003.

However, by 2019, only 32% of that revenue was going to newspapers, generating just €2.8 billion, with the drop accounting for 44% of newspapers’ total revenue decline over the period.”

Newspaper Classified Business Picked Up By Specialist Sites

According to the report, Western European news organizations lost their classifieds revenue to niche classified sites that targeted specific verticals.

Print newspapers used to be where consumers and businesses used to advertise autos for sale, job openings, apartments for sale, and even garage sales.

Many of those classified announcements moved to websites that specialized in each of those verticals.

The report named real estate sites Scout24 and Rightmove, job site Totaljobs, and automobile classifieds sites,, Bilbasen and as the kinds of sites that are largely responsible for siphoning off classifieds ad revenue.

The report also noted that some of the sites are currently owned or used to be owned by the news media sites themselves.

According to the report:

“Newspapers’ dominance of the classified market has been challenged. The predominant competition has been from ‘pure play’ websites – these focus on specific vertical markets. Online providers gained a two-thirds market share of the classifieds market by 2019.

Many of these pure plays are or were formerly owned by newspaper publishers or media groups. This includes Scandinavian classified business Schibsted, Germany’s Axel Springer, and Spain’s, and operated by Vocento.”

That means that some of the news organizations complaining about loss of classifieds ad revenue are either still earning it or sold off their classified business.


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Although the research report doesn’t explicitly say so, the implication is that the some of blame for the loss of classifieds income is due the actions of the news organizations themselves and some of the complaints about the loss of this business may not have been made in good faith.

News Industry Online Ad Revenue

According to the report, advertising revenue may have declined for print publications (along with their readership) but that online advertising revenue grew from the periods that were researched, from 2003 to 2019.

According to the report:

“…the value of online advertising has grown significantly from €2.2 billion in 2003 to €50.5 billion in 2019, along with growth in all advertising sectors.

But this did not come at the expense of newspaper revenues.”

Are News Organizations Wrong to Blame Google for their Losses?

While this report is about Western European news media, there are interesting facts about Google and Facebook’s role in the decline in Australian news media earnings that may be relevant.


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An Australian commission claims that both Google and Facebook have eaten into news organization’s advertising profits.

According to a report in the BBC:

“…an investigation by the commission into the tech firms’ online advertising dominance, which showed that in 2018 for every A$100 (£56; €65) spent by Australian advertisers, A$49 went to Google and A$24 to Facebook.”

The report makes no mention of how much more revenue Western European news media would earn if Google didn’t enjoy a dominant position in online advertising.

The amount of revenue skimmed off by Google and Facebook is not something that was addressed in the Accenture research report commissioned by Google.

As in any dispute between two parties there are always two sides to every story.

It will be interesting to see how news organizations respond to this research.


Official Google Announcement
Research: What Really Happened to Newspaper Revenue

Link to Accenture report (commissioned by Google)
Western Europe News Media Landscape Trends 2021 (PDF)


OpenAI Introduces ChatGPT Plus with Monthly Subscription of $20



Open AI - Chat GPT

OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence research laboratory, has launched a new product – ChatGPT Plus. The new product is an advanced version of its previous language model, ChatGPT, and is available for a monthly subscription of $20. The company aims to provide a more sophisticated and efficient conversational AI tool to its users through this new product.

ChatGPT Plus is a state-of-the-art language model that uses advanced deep learning algorithms to generate human-like responses to text inputs. The model has been trained on a massive corpus of text data, allowing it to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses. The model is designed to handle a wide range of conversational topics and can be integrated into various applications, such as chatbots, customer support systems, and virtual assistants.

One of the main advantages of ChatGPT Plus over its predecessor, ChatGPT, is its ability to generate responses in a more human-like manner. The model has been fine-tuned to incorporate more advanced language processing techniques, which enable it to better understand the context and tone of a conversation. This makes it possible for the model to generate more nuanced and appropriate responses, which can greatly improve the user experience.

In addition to its advanced language processing capabilities, ChatGPT Plus also offers improved performance in terms of response generation speed and efficiency. The model has been optimized to run on faster hardware and has been fine-tuned to generate responses more quickly. This makes it possible for the model to handle a larger volume of requests, making it an ideal solution for businesses with high traffic websites or customer support centers.

The monthly subscription fee of $20 for ChatGPT Plus makes it an affordable solution for businesses of all sizes. The company has designed the pricing model in such a way that it is accessible to businesses of all sizes, regardless of their budget. This makes it possible for small businesses to take advantage of advanced conversational AI technology, which can greatly improve their customer engagement and support.

OpenAI has also made it easy to integrate ChatGPT Plus into various applications. The company has provided a comprehensive API that allows developers to easily integrate the model into their applications. The API supports a wide range of programming languages, making it possible for developers to use the technology regardless of their preferred programming language. This makes it possible for businesses to quickly and easily incorporate conversational AI into their operations.

In conclusion, OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT Plus is a significant development in the field of conversational AI. The new product offers advanced language processing capabilities and improved performance, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. The affordable pricing model and easy integration make it accessible to businesses of all sizes, and the advanced language processing capabilities make it possible for businesses to improve their customer engagement and support. OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus is set to revolutionize the conversational AI industry and bring advanced technology within the reach of businesses of all sizes.

Visit to read more and to get the latest news about ChatGPT.

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What can ChatGPT do?



ChatGPT Explained

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained on a massive amount of text data. It is capable of generating human-like text and has been used in a variety of applications, such as chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is similar to human writing. This is achieved through the use of a transformer architecture, which allows the model to understand the context and relationships between words in a sentence. The transformer architecture is a type of neural network that is designed to process sequential data, such as natural language.

Another important aspect of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is contextually relevant. This means that the model is able to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate to the conversation. This is accomplished by the use of a technique called “masked language modeling,” which allows the model to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the previous words.

One of the most popular applications of ChatGPT is in the creation of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation and can be used in customer service, sales, and other applications. ChatGPT is particularly well-suited for this task because of its ability to generate human-like text and understand context.

Another application of ChatGPT is language translation. By training the model on a large amount of text data in multiple languages, it can be used to translate text from one language to another. The model is able to understand the meaning of the text and generate a translation that is grammatically correct and semantically equivalent.

In addition to chatbots and language translation, ChatGPT can also be used for text summarization. This is the process of taking a large amount of text and condensing it into a shorter, more concise version. ChatGPT is able to understand the main ideas of the text and generate a summary that captures the most important information.

Despite its many capabilities and applications, ChatGPT is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges with using language models like ChatGPT is the risk of generating text that is biased or offensive. This can occur when the model is trained on text data that contains biases or stereotypes. To address this, OpenAI has implemented a number of techniques to reduce bias in the training data and in the model itself.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that is capable of generating human-like text and understanding context. It has a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization. While there are limitations to its use, ongoing research and development is aimed at improving the model’s performance and reducing the risk of bias.

** The above article has been written 100% by ChatGPT. This is an example of what can be done with AI. This was done to show the advanced text that can be written by an automated AI.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster



Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”


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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.


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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.


Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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