Steve Rubel has a great post asking why Google is Syndication Shy – something I’ve often wondered. In comparison to Yahoo! and MSN they seem somewhat behind the eight-ball. Steve writes:
‘Google views syndication drastically differently than its competitors. On the Web Google is all about driving people away from their sites. Once they’ve shown them an Adwords ad they had their opportunity to collect a dollar, so why not give the users what they need and send them on their way. However, when it comes to syndicated feeds they use it as a tool to drive users to their services and that’s why they are syndication shy. Remember Autolinking? I rest my case.
Feeds may be Google’s greatest enemy. If Google did offer feeds that connected users with the information they are looking for from the Web they would miss the opportunity to advertise to them. What will remedy this? Google will incorporate contextual Adwords ads into these kinds of feeds, much like Overture has done. What’s taking so long? Beats me.’
I think Steve is correct in saying that contextual ads in RSS feeds will probably be the time that Google starts to be a bit more generous with syndication of services like Google News – but like Steve I’m also a little surprised by the length of time its taking to get such a system in place.