TWIG 597: Count Robhgien Ruomorf Laetsew

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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The one thing missing in Jeff’s analogy to the newspapers sharing content is that Google is not creating any stories and sharing them equally with the other news services.

@gigastacey is write, when she says that his analogy doesn’t work.

Whilst I don’t think that the Murdoch run attempt to monetize is entirely on the level and it is hypocritical, there is certainly some truth in there as well. A lot of people read the headline and snippet on Google News and never go any further, so the paper is missing out on those visitors. I think they should be compensated for the Google users who never go any further.

To Jeff’s analogy, paper A wrote 20 of its own stories and published 20 “national” stories from other papers, including 3 from Paper B. Paper B wrote 25 of its own stories and published 24 from other papers, including 2 from paper A.

The next day, the mix might be different. But the key point is, all (most) parties were giving and taking. In the Google case, it doesn’t have any stories to make it a quid pro quo. They are just sending a percentage of people who have read the snippet and want to know more.

As to what would happen in Google pulled out. Maybe it is time that people start standing up to Big Tech (and other global players). In many ways they are too powerful and a bit of “knocking them down to size” would probably do them a world of good. But I’m not sure this is the right battle to do it with.

On a personal level, I block most of Google’s tracking sites and all of Facebook (including WhatsApp and Instagram) from my home network and I use an alternative search engine.

This doesn’t make any sense. Google doesn’t make up the headline and snippit, the newspaper does. If they are dissatisfied with the results of their efforts, they should change what and how they do it. What is the historical purpose of such things anyway…? It’s like an ad for the article to pull you in to read it in full. If your ads aren’t working, maybe change your ads?


They aren’t necessarily dissatisfied with the result, but that the headline plus snippet provides enough information, that the reader doesn’t need to go to the main article.

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Each time a user reads the snippet without clicking, the news site misses out on the full ad load for that page (and potentially additional pages that people would click through). Could Google perhaps place an ad on the snippet itself that would provide revenue to the site that supplied the snippet? Presumably a snippet like that is pretty valuable since it can answer a user’s question in a pretty small space.

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If the goal of the newspaper is to have people visit its site, then THEY need to optimize their business for that purpose. Perhaps they should stop supplying snippits and make their headlines more sensational and vague? “Moon landings to increase” instead of “NASA plans moon landing in 2035” or whatever… I have no problem if the site wants to “sell” its snippits… but I really do have a problem with Google being required to exhibit them and pay for it, even if they decide that’s not a business they wish to be in [any more.]

I was born old and am from North Carolina so I know that “Here Comes the Judge” is an old Pigmeat Markham bit/song. Markham was born in Durham NC and was a star on the Chitlin’ Circuit. Sammy Davis Jr. did a version of the bit on Laugh-In. I always enjoy Leo and Jeff’s old man cultural references that I know completely baffle most of the audience. It’s about the only time my obsession with old movies, vaudeville comedy, and old time radio shows come in handy.


Thus was the front page of the Toronto Star today:


The problem is, they don’t currently sell snippets, Google scrapes the site and displays what it finds. There is a fine line between display a couple of words or sentences to make the reader interested in visiting the link and displaying so much information that the reader no longer has to go to the site.

Also, I’ll avoid the sites with sensationlist headlines, I prefer to go to sites with sensible, real headlines, because that is usually a tell-tale about the quality of the content you are about to read.

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Just listening to the show now, and @Leo asked the question who would Australian’s blame if Google were to withdraw.
As an Australian, a few days ago I emailed my local federal member outlining my many concerns with the code. I told him bluntly that if Google were to withdraw, then I put the blame on him and the other politicians who supported the code.

As a consumer who uses Google services everyday, and gets great value from the services, my main concern is what would happen to all my Google hardware?

  • Can I still ask a search question on my Nest Mini?
  • Can I search for a movie on Chrome, add the search result to my ‘watchlist’ or give it a rating, which then syncs to Chromecast with GTV?
  • Can I search for entertainment on my Chromecast with GTV?
  • Can I search for a business on Maps on my Pixel mobile?

Unfortunately, Google are not responding to these questions.

Google is already waaaay too invested in Australia, and so too are Australian’s in Google. Imagine how pissed we would be if our search-focused devices became far less functional, or stopped working altogether?
Google isn’t going anywhere without facing massive legal action.

IMH, there is no way the collective Australian populus will accept Bing as their search engine.


There definitely needs to be some nuance with how the publishers create snippets. Click baity is one thing, click-worthy is another, having enough in the snippet to tell a story is another. Then you have “readers” that assume everything is within the snippet and choose not to click, regardless of the three options I mentioned.


Good on you.

I watch the YouTube channel of John Cadogan (AutoexpertTV). He is usually very funny and he is always pointing out what a bunch of pillocks are running the government down there.

I love John’ take on MAGA for Australia MALS (Make Australia Less S***), to be honest, if he actually stood for Parliament and I lived in Oz, he’d get my vote for that slogan alone! :smiley:


This is controllable by the site. The robots.txt control file works fine (I believe it was a Google invention.) There is no reason for a site to have a poor relationship with Google except that it hasn’t made any effort not to. Exclude Google’s web spider, and have a contract with Bing if that is what you think will gather better results. Instead, they prefer to do almost nothing but complain, and hope legislators will make Google just pour money on them.

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Australian’s are waking up to find that Facebook opted to go the nuclear option on News.
And for the same reason why Google said it’s difficult to define ‘news’ and were threatening to withdraw search completely, Facebook is taking down pages that may not be big media, but still provide their own style of news. This includes government FB health advice pages with Covid info.
I think the Australian Government is going to feel the burn today.