Google UK chief: We are trying to help the media

Search giant Google has insisted it is doing an “awful lot” to help traditional media publishers make money online.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Google’s head of British operations Matt Brittin addresses criticism levelled at Google recently by Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson.

Thomson last week described Google as “terrible for content providers” – a search superpower that “devalues everything it touches”.

“It is easy for people in traditional media to look at the internet and say: ‘Oh God, the internet is taking away our readers and advertisers’,” says Brittin, who previously worked for Trinity Mirror.

“But – and I want to be really clear about this – it is not Google that is taking advertisers away. It is consumers changing their behaviour. And that presents challenges to all of us.”

He adds: “Many publishers are partners of Google and we work together by providing targeted advertising to their websites so they can make money out of dead space.

“In the last three months of last year we gave away $1.4bn (£970m) of revenue to publishing partners for adverts on their sites.

“All we are trying to do is help traditional media in a new environment.”

Google reported fourth-quarter revenues of $5.7bn in 2008, up 18 per cent year on year.

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