Outsell hosted an excellent drinks/dinner at The Plaza Wednesday night. The guest speaker was Tim Armstrong, Vice President of Advertising for Google. Despite being in the “quiet period” Tim was able to answer a number of questions about Google, albeit at a very surface level. Most of the Q & A dealt with whether or not Google is friend or foe to business information publishers. Google’s view, of course, is that Google is friend to all, especially publishers, with whom they connect valuable eyeballs and generate advertising revenue.

But business information, be it found in trade journals, on the web sites of professional service firms, or hidden in the “deep web”, is not going to be found by Google. These pages are rarely linked to, making PageRank useless, and despite Google’s arguing to the contrary, their other algorithms do not compensate. The Google index is just too big, and the answers to many business information searches are too specific for Google to find. As I’ve mentioned before, the problem for business publishers is that users might think the stuff that Google does uncover might be good enough.