MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: "A cesspool where false information thrives," is the state of the nation verdict on the internet delivered by Google ceo Eric Schmidt.

Addressing an audience of eager parolees, released from their sentences at the annual conference of Magazine Publishers of America in San Francisco, Schmidt told them that the power of the brand is the 'cesspool' decontaminant.

Brands, he said, are increasingly important indicators that content can be trusted. They are "the solution, not the problem … brands are how you sort out the cesspool."

Music to the ears of beleaguered magazine publishers who have been taking a financial pounding from the transmigration of ad revenues to cyberspace.

In addition to rah-rahing it for the power of the brand, Schmidt had something else to get off his chest: Google's grapple with the Association of National Advertisers.

The latter has strongly opposed Google's planned search-ad alliance with Yahoo, contending that it would stifle competition and enable the online duo to up their prices. 

Overlooking the fact that doing just that is what capitalism is all about, Schmidt appealed: "If you're going to criticize us, criticize us correctly. We're guilty of many things, but that's not one of them."

However, he hailed the US magazine industry as a best-fit ally for Google. Magazines and other professional content creators, said Schmidt, are essential to the search titan's efforts to help surfers find desirable content. "We don't do content," he said. "You all create content. It's a natural partnership."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff