Ben Young
Ben Young
May 24, 2024

Edition #450

How can search get better when old content disappears, NewsCorp & OpenAI partner, and unlicensed music.

As thunder rolls overhead here in NY, I’m reviewing the stories this week. And the research on how much content disappears over time stands out,

38% of content from 2013 is no longer online.

What that means is, every Google Search, is searching off an ever-changing index. And I think we know that, but we tend to think about how new stuff comes in, not how old stuff drops out. And search tends to over index on older content as a source of authority.

Then you think about Reddit, Reddit has been around for 18 years. Its content tends to stay around. So now you have an old webpage which was the authority disappear, then the next best, is more likely to be on Reddit or some other platform which basically hosts the content forever for free. No wonder it ends up in more results.

I have no idea if this really is a big impact, but it is an impact. I wonder if Google could also search the internet archive, which does keep a copy of old webpages, that probably involves some commercial rights. They probably have their own internet cache, but that’s not cheap to maintain, let alone to kind of promise the market to always keep old webpages online. But I do again wonder – maybe it’s worth it in some way.

But a Google partnership may also invalidate their own initial ‘permission’ around creating the archive.

Just a thought but I am curious.

Pepper AI hosted an event this week for enterprise marketers, digging into content and AI. What’s holding brands up, where do they need help. A common theme was continuing to educate, how can we all teach, lead and educate others to the possibilities of the tools. Whilst continuing our current responsibilities AND keeping on top of the ever changing landscape. Events like that are helpful to compare, trade notes and learn.

Notable stories this week

  • If people knew the content was written by AI, would they still read it?
  • How New Zealand’s Spinoff keeps its 10,000 paying members happy.
  • The age of the sovereign creator.
  • Why Linkedin now wants you to play games.
  • Why Purina’s premium brand sees eye-tracking as a viable replacement for third-party cookies.
  • A rabbit hole to find out how an ad was served.
  • TikTok plans layoffs of operations and marketing employees.
  • Squarespace to go private.
  • As clicks dry up for news sites, could Apple’s News app be a lifeline?
  • As Roblox expands its advertising network, child safety concerns are on the horizon.
  • Sony sued Marriott Hotels for using unlicensed music in IG and TikTok posts.
  • Google Search’s new AI Overviews will soon have ads.
  • Dignified decline, on how old publishing brands never die.


Campaign of the week

View all 2024 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “The three pillars of the new strategy are: great journalism, happy customers, and making money: “If we’re doing things that don’t meet all three…we should stop doing that.”Will Lewis, CEO, WashingtonPost.

Datapoints of note

  • Facebook News site referrals have fallen 50% in 1 year.
  • IAS media quality report shares how time in view has been declining the past four years. From 22s in 2019 to 17s in the Americas.
  • Time garnered 5 million unique visitors from Apple News last month.
  • When online content disappears, 38% of webpages that existed in 2023 are no longer accessible a decade later.
  • 53% of respondents see measurement & attribution capabilities as most crucial.


View all 2024 datapoints of note.

That’s it for this week.