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Newspapers are blaming Google News for their own problems. Enjoy the traffic now — you may miss it in the future 5/23/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Google, Newspapers.

Just what are these newspapers thinking? Demanding that Google News pay newspapers for displaying their headlines, synopses, and links to the papers’ sites makes as much sense as asking the Yellow Pages to pay those with listings. In this new news environment where consumers are increasingly reluctant to pay subscription fees, the coin of the realm is web site traffic that can be converted into advertising dollars. Belgian newspapers learned this lesson the hard way. They sued Google for copyright infringement, Google stopped indexing their stories, the papers’ online traffic plunged an estimated 25%, they surrendered, and now it’s like the whole thing never happened. There are two things every newspaper biggie must understand. First, just because Google is large, profitable, and an icon of the Internet does not mean they are the cause of your woes, or that litigating your way into their pockets will fix them. Second, any journalist who actually believes that Google News — which performs mindless searches, lacks human judgment, and delivers scores of articles that are virtually all the same – is the ideal news service consumers have been waiting for deserves to have his or her job replaced by a search engine. Enjoy the traffic now, because sooner or later you may not have Google News to kick around anymore.


1. i cope - 5/30/07

Very well said. As a newspaper writer and blogger, I am very thankful for the traffic Google sends my way, and that Google quickly directs me to so many other papers’ sites. Newspapers need to stop wasting time blaming Google for their problems and start working to make their websites compelling enough to make those searchers who find them through Google and other search engines want to come back.

2. “Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth” - Newspaper Sues Google for Linking « LongStation - 6/11/07

[…] the paper’s traffic dropped an immediate 25% due to the loss of Google referrals. (Via The Future of News) It is almost like listening to the moral of a fairy tale… or an old expression like […]

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