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Newspapers Reconsidering Google News 172

Posted by Zonk
from the i-guess-they-hate-traffic dept.
News.com ran an article earlier in the week talking about the somewhat strained relationship between newspapers and Google. Google's stance is firm: 'We don't pay to index news content.' Just the same, newspapers with an online presence are starting to reconsider their relationship with Google, the value of linking, and the realities of internet economics. Talk of paying for content, as well as ongoing court cases, has observers considering both sides of the issue: "While some in newspaper circles point to the Belgium court ruling and the content deals with AP and AFP as a sign Google may be willing to pay for content, Google fans and bloggers interpreted the news quite differently. To them, it was obvious that the Belgium group had agreed to settle--even after winning its court case--because they discovered that they needed Google's traffic more than the fees that could be generated from news snippets. Observers note that with newspapers receiving about 25 percent of their traffic from search engines, losing Google's traffic had to sting."
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Newspapers Reconsidering Google News

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  • Not a big concern. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khaed (544779) on Monday May 28, 2007 @02:33AM (#19297885)
    It more bugs me how many sites in google news are exact copies of the same thing. Makes finding more than one story somewhat of a bitch.
    • by Gorshkov (932507) <admgorshkov AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday May 28, 2007 @02:39AM (#19297901)

      It more bugs me how many sites in google news are exact copies of the same thing. Makes finding more than one story somewhat of a bitch.
      What's even worse, as far as I'm concerned, is clicking on wildly different headlines in different major newspapers .... and finding the exact same AP (or other wireservice) story.

      Kinda makes you wonder about the "journalism is hard" comment in the article.
    • by reporter (666905) on Monday May 28, 2007 @03:17AM (#19298043) Homepage
      The conflict between the newspapers and Google is due to financial issues. With nearly 100% of news being free, newspaper revenue is declining rapidly. The newspaper companies just want Google to pay them for the free news.

      However, Google has no legal obligation to do so. Google is not causing the newspapers to lose money. Google is just a pointer to the news. The news organizations are the ones who actually provide the news -- for free.

      So, the solution is obvious. The "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) has already implemented the solution: charge for news. The readership of the WSJ has declined little since the start of the Internet Age. Revenue has also been relatively stable.

      Now, look at the "Los Angeles Times". Every bit of news and opinion at the "Times" is free. Why would anyone subscribe to the "Times" when she can get the news for free?

      • So, the solution is obvious. The "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) has already implemented the solution: charge for news. The readership of the WSJ has declined little since the start of the Internet Age. Revenue has also been relatively stable.

        Now, look at the "Los Angeles Times". Every bit of news and opinion at the "Times" is free. Why would anyone subscribe to the "Times" when she can get the news for free?


        Bingo. I think you've also touched, indirectly, on the bigger issue: original content. If you don't have any original content, then you can't well charge admission! Papers that basically just re-run the same wire service reports as everyone else, can't adopt the WSJ's business model, because there are lots of other, cheaper (free) sources for the same thing.

        What we are about to see, is a big contraction in the newspaper market. Honestly I don't think this is a bad thing. It's been a long time in coming. Most newspapers -- and I'm not talking about the LA Times here (I don't have a clue about them) -- have long been a 'news dissemination' service, and not a real 'news reporting' service. They don't really make any content themselves, beyond pretty basic local stuff that a smart highschool Junior could write up. Everything else is just wire service stuff. These are the papers that aren't going to make it, or are going to have to radically change shape in order to survive.

        The Internet makes the dissemination of information relatively cheap and easy. What it doesn't do is change the cost of creating the material originally (well, in some cases it might, but not as dramatically as it affects the distribution side). If you're nothing but an information distributor, you're in trouble. But if you're an information creator, then you still have something you can market.

        Everyone talks about newspapers going under, but you never hear anyone (seriously) talking about the AP or UPI going under. They're not going to, and neither are the big papers that actually do some serious reporting and content-creation -- although they might have to become more like wire services themselves, less "newspapers" and more 'information brokers' or 'content assemblers' (taking lots of raw data and presenting it in a format that people find pleasing and useful, and are incidentally willing to pay for).

        There's no shortage of demand for news, and that means there's always going to be money for the people who are really in the core of the business. It's the ancillary stuff that's going to go down, and well it should.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by yelvington (8169)

          Everyone talks about newspapers going under, but you never hear anyone (seriously) talking about the AP or UPI going under.

          UPI went bankrupt years ago and has changed hands several times. The company that now owns the UPI brand actually is an agent of the Unification Church (also known as "the Moonies"). Hardly any newspapers use UPI these days.

          The Associated Press is a cooperative owned and controlled by American newspapers. The AP has gone through a massive restructuring over the last several years as it

          • With the coming of the Internet there is too much information available and people are drowning in Information. This changes the value that newspapers can provide. Now the value of newspapers is not that they can bring news to us rather they can filter out useless news i.e. the editorial function becomes the value proposition rather than the journalistic function. When I do a Google news search I already know what I am looking for so basically I already know the news I just want details. This is not as inte
        • They don't really make any content themselves, beyond pretty basic local stuff that a smart highschool Junior could write up. Everything else is just wire service stuff.

          Even in that area these regional newspapers, like the times, are under attack by an ever increasing number of smaller local publications that specialize in quality local reporting only to the exclusion of national content for precisely the reasons that you and the grandparent state, there is little no money in simply reprinting the AP an
      • by rm999 (775449)
        "Now, look at the "Los Angeles Times". Every bit of news and opinion at the "Times" is free. Why would anyone subscribe to the "Times" when she can get the news for free?"

        My friend has an online account to the Economist, and offered me his username/password. I love the Economist, and chose to subscribe to the print edition. Why? Not for moral reasons (that's a nice side effect), but because I like to read the newspaper in print. I don't want to stare at a computer more than I have to, and it's much harder t
        • by grrrl (110084)
          Imagine looking through 50 articles on the computer every day

          Try RSS - I look through far more than 50 articles a day, but only have to read in-depth those that catch my attention. The benefit of a good RSS reader (I use Vienna) being that articles are only listed in one place (not dynamically all over the page like some newspaper sites) and you know what you've looked at (by changing the article status to read - eg like email).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by value_added (719364)
        The conflict between the newspapers and Google is due to financial issues. With nearly 100% of news being free, newspaper revenue is declining rapidly.

        Whether (or how) the online presence of newspapers generates profits is the subject of the article. It's a separate and distinct issue from the declining revenues of newspapers, which, for the most part, are a decline in classifieds revenue. Declining circulations play a role, but to a far less extent than you'd like to believe. Newspapers are still very v
        • Or, if you're up to it, ask the Really Big Question of how a democracy can function without an informed electorate.

          What democracy? Seriously.

          The prevalent form of government 'enjoyed' in the 'western world' is not democracy -- it is 'mediacracy'.

          And mediacracy is all about appropriately informing the electorate -- informing them in such a way that when it comes time to spend their 'hard-earned' vote they are subject to exactly the same sorts of influences which work so well when it comes to advertising any
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by UnanimousCoward (9841)
        Maybe I'm being a luddite, but I want my kids to have access to a physical newspaper at the breakfast table w/o having them having to go online. So, even though I can get the NYT for free online, I'll pay for it to have the tree-killing version too. The non-luddite in me also reaps the benefits of access to NYT historical content which is available to me since I take the tree-killing version...

        • by honkycat (249849)
          In addition to that sort of reason, I simply enjoy having time to read the newspaper while not rotting my brain on the internet. I spend too much time in front of a terminal or laptop as it is. Having the paper in the living room is better for a break. Plus, having it arrive on my doorstep gives me an incentive to look through it, even sections I may not really be interested in. When I had no newspaper subscription, I tended not to read as regularly or thoroughly. Finally, my baby son really likes the
          • by The Warlock (701535) on Monday May 28, 2007 @11:57AM (#19300379)
            Maybe I'm missing something, but how is it "rotting your brain on the Internet" if you're reading the same exact article, with the same words and everything, that's in the print edition?

            It's not like Magic Stupid Rays get emitted straight from the Internet and into your brain, despite what the BBC may say.
            • by honkycat (249849)
              I was being a little silly there, but after staring at screens all day, my brain gets really tired and reading printed words is a relaxing change. Also, the distraction of all the other things that the internet offers is removed by not being right there.
              • Also, the distraction of all the other things that the internet offers is removed by not being right there.

                Apparently you haven't seen the ads in the sports section...

        • by rolfwind (528248)

          Maybe I'm being a luddite, but I want my kids to have access to a physical newspaper at the breakfast table w/o having them having to go online. So, even though I can get the NYT for free online, I'll pay for it to have the tree-killing version too. The non-luddite in me also reaps the benefits of access to NYT historical content which is available to me since I take the tree-killing version..

          I think you are.

          In twenty years, e-paper will have taken over, today models are not bad - Sony's and IRex's. Just n

      • by Dun Malg (230075)

        Now, look at the "Los Angeles Times". Every bit of news and opinion at the "Times" is free. Why would anyone subscribe to the "Times" when she can get the news for free?

        The LA Times is notorious here for telemarketing. For years we've had to put up with repeated sales calls offering us "great deals" on that horrid rag, and no argument short of hanging up would get the tenacious phone-mill slave off your phone. Until now, that is. When you tell them "I read it online, for free", they simply have no answer beyond "Oh....OK....thank you for your time". Victory at last.

        • I've used the "I read it online" line to get them off of the phone too. The best was, though, when they persisted to try and sell me. They told me "well, this is more convenient because it's at your doorstep!" I told them "Well, my desk is on my way to my door, and I don't even have to open the door for that.." So they say "Yeah but with this you don't even have to turn your computer on!" So I just tell her "Look lady, if I ever really get -that- lazy, I can leave my laptop on my nightstand, wake up, o
      • by fermion (181285)
        WSJ has a specific niche and a rather unique business model. It is as much as fashion statement as a news source. Yes it does have original stories, and the ever important 'how to manage your second home by buying at Wal Mart story'. But the key thing is that I have never seen a MBA who wants to taken seriously without it. Subscriptions to the journal are a cost of doing business, a deductible expense.

        In any case, the pure subscription model is on it's way out. USA Today has a larger subscription bas

      • "So, the solution is obvious. The "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) has already implemented the solution: charge for news. The readership of the WSJ has declined little since the start of the Internet Age. Revenue has also been relatively stable.

        Now, look at the "Los Angeles Times". Every bit of news and opinion at the "Times" is free. Why would anyone subscribe to the "Times" when she can get the news for free?"

        Why would you subscribe to anything when you can get the news for free.
    • "It more bugs me how many sites in google news are exact copies of the same thing. Makes finding more than one story somewhat of a bitch."

      On the contrary I think that stories that have put in their own research/spin can be easily identified by scrolling through google's list of snipets. Why do you think content producers both love and hate google?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday May 28, 2007 @02:40AM (#19297909)
    This actually offers an interesting question: Can you dare to sue google if you depend on page visits? Can you actually survive it when Google decides to "zero" you, to make you nonexistant in their searches? Google is, after all, THE way people use when trying to find something. Sure, there are other search engines, but Google is pretty much the dominating factor in internet search.

    Not being listed in Google means that your competitor gets all the hits you might have gotten.

    Can you then dare to stand up against Google? What if Google decides to take the stance of "play by our rules or we'll make sure nobody finds you anymore"?

    Not really a comforting thought, when someone can dictate how the internet has to run...
    • If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
      If a webpage is published online, and Google doesn't index it, does it still get found?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        I don't know the answer to the first one. But not being indexed by Google means your page impressions will suffer. Certainly people will still find you. Google is not a 100% monopoly. And nobody could keep me from displaying the link to my buddies and tell them "look, Google doesn't want you to see that".

        But overall, I'd guess the hit would be considerable. Unless of course it becomes public enough that Google doesn't want you to see X's page, 'cause then pretty much every media outlet will cover the story
      • by bytesex (112972)
        If I told you a circle is a square, can it still be round ?
        • by Nymz (905908)
          From parent poster's sig

          If a bear shits in the woods, and there's nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound ?

          I can't tell you if it made a sound, but I bet I could find it with Google maps.
    • Why would you sue Google in the first place? Perhaps because you are not as high up in the rankings as you believe that you should be? That is pretty much the ONLY reason why you would sue. So, assume that you then sue and Google de-lists you? So what? You are no worse off. However, to the best of my knowledge, Google has not de-listed anybody for suing them. OTH, if you sue them AND INSIST on being paid or Google not using your content, well, you are going to be de-listed. After all, Google can not pay eve
      • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday May 28, 2007 @03:20AM (#19298059)
        Google has done no evil, where MS has been nothing but.

        Hm, what a black-white stance. Oh wait, I get it, it's because of the slogan, right?
        Heh. Kids. When will you grow up.

        Google is so huge right now, you'll find people with all sorts of agenda inside. And the funny things is, many of them, at all levels, worked at Microsoft at some point. Some of them worked in Apple. Some of the people in Apple worked in Google. Some of the people in Microsoft worked in Apple or Google.

        A corporation has no face. But, if it makes you feel better, you can keep putting faces on it. It makes it all so much simpler...

        • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday May 28, 2007 @04:08AM (#19298193) Journal
          The problem is that so many of you kids today do not work in companies which want to show them. Over the decades, I have worked at various companies because I was a contract coder. I have worked at USWest Advanced Tech., Bell labs (later Avaya), IBM Watson, NASA, and HP. Prior to that, I had a different career (microbio/geneticists) in which I worked at some interesting places including C.D.C.. I can tell you that ALL of these companies/gov. had faces and souls. While it is normally tied to the top ppl, that is not always true. For example, USWest was purely a RBOC mentality until they were taken over by qwest. Likewise, My place at Bell labs became Lucent and then Avaya. As bell Labs, it had some of the best and brightest. Over time, they left. Watson labs was interesting as I started there shortly after Uncle Lou took over. ppl were nervous, but excited about a chance to get back on track. And yes, they all had a face. That was due to the TOP managment's morals. Sadly, look at HP and IBM today and you can see why so many of the top execs are keeping quiet.

          Now, as to the ppl at Google coming from MS, yes, some did. Hell, some of them came from Iraq. How much influence do any of them have? NOT MUCH. The do no evil is a top down mandate. Likewise, the MS approach to win at all costs is a top down approach. That is why e-mail gets "lost". Likewise, you see MS slaes throw their weight around (still) by telling re-sellers that they will do what MS wants. MS also tells politicians that if they bring in Linux or OO, that the next policitian will be from the opposite party. That is EVIL.
          Does Google do any of that? Nope. Not at this time. But if the top execs change (or perhops does not change), then they will slowly become "evil".
        • by Snaller (147050)
          "Hm, what a black-white stance. Oh wait, I get it, it's because of the slogan, right?
          Heh. Kids. When will you grow up."

          They did kid, which is why they don't just accept your spin.
      • How about 2 other reasons: First of all, the one that the news agency appearantly saw, i.e. that Google is "stealing" their content.

        And second, how about you not enjoying the idea of Google keeping your outdated pages in Cache?

        I'm sure, with a bit of pondering, one could come up with a few more reasons why they might not enjoy Google, and sue.

        And I'd really love to hear how you'd plan to "topple" Google, should the need arise. I don't trust Google. But then, I don't trust any company that has a de facto mon
        • Oh, I did not say that I trust Google. But so far, they have not been evil (excluding the china deal).

          As to them having my data in cache, great. I say go for it. It means that it is one more way to reach my site. Likewise, they can use my content if it brings me more users. That is the name of the game, right? The funny thing is that most businesses and content developers would gladly give access to content if it brought them more customers.

          So, you want to topple Google? Well, it is possible to do right
        • by DrEldarion (114072) on Monday May 28, 2007 @05:47AM (#19298471)

          How about 2 other reasons: First of all, the one that the news agency appearantly saw, i.e. that Google is "stealing" their content.
          Robots.txt

          And second, how about you not enjoying the idea of Google keeping your outdated pages in Cache?
          Robots.txt

          If you want to be listed in Google, you play by their rules. If you don't agree to those rules, you block them. It's simple.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by xtracto (837672)
            How about 2 other reasons: First of all, the one that the news agency appearantly saw, i.e. that Google is "stealing" their content.
            Robots.txt


            LoL *chuckle*... Everytime someone comes up with that "the search engine is stealing my content" thing I cant help but laugh really hard... this "web page" content stealing is akin to someone paying $10,000 to put one of these huge ads panels in the street containing their "content" and then bitching because people *can* see it.

            If you do not want your content to be se
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Alt321 (1056040)
        "And as far as being able to dictate, I fear Google far less than I do MS. Google has done no evil, where MS has been nothing but."

        With respect, I think that's short-sighted. While MS has done some shitty things ... I know where I stand with them. With Google, they present this rosy vision to all - and almost all fall before them.

        What concerns me is that Google has far more potential to do "evil" now than MS. I fear that. Now, while this might sound alarmist, history suggests otherwise.

        When everything is b
        • If you look carefully, any company with a 1 issue monopoly WILL fall. It is when they have a tied monopoly like MS does that it becomes difficult. For example, the oil company (shell oil) was broken up because they own the production, refinery, AND delivery. Likewise, Hollywood was broken up as well since they owned production AND the theaters. All of them had WAY too much control. MS is the exact same way. MS has thrown their weight around. Google has not (yet). In addition, while Google has the ability to
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday May 28, 2007 @03:44AM (#19298135)
      This actually offers an interesting question: Can you dare to sue google if you depend on page visits? Can you actually survive it when Google decides to "zero" you, to make you nonexistant in their searches?

      This is the reason why I do believe it'll be nice to see Yahoo and Microsoft work (or merge?) together better, so they can compete better against Google.

      I do use Google today, it has the best search results, undeniably. But it also has a huge market share, which makes content producers very nervous, for a good reason.

      Google may delist you overnight, after an algorithm tweak, for something completely innocent, and not SEO related at all, that you did on your site. It's unavoidable, even if Google was run by shiny white angels with halo above their heads, an algorithm for a search engine isn't an exact science, and so anybody in any moment can end up as an edge case that Google doesn't handle properly.

      If we have 2-3 major search engines with equal market share, we gain the following benefits:

      1. Spammers will have hard time scamming all engines at once, as they use wildly different backend processing, and as a result receive less traffic (i.e. if half the traffic comes from Live, and half from Google, cheating one of them gets you half the possible traffic, not all of it).

      2. If you happen to be an edge case on either search engine after an algorithm tweak, it's much less likely both engines did the same tweak at the same time, so while your traffic will decrease, the other search engines on the market will still provide enough traffic for you until this is sorted.

      3. When either search engine does something inappropriate, or questionable (ok, for the simple folk out there: "evil"), people will have easier time going to court to defend their rights, because if the search engine provider becomes abusive and threatens blacklisting, that'll have much smaller effect if the engine isn't a monopolist (in this case they'll mostly hurt themselves).

      4. Innovation, innovation, innovation. Just imagine the kind of innovation we'll see from both Yahoo/Microsoft and Google if they had equal market share. Microsoft would have much bigger revenue and thus much bigger incentive to support their position on the market. Google, likewise.

      I mean, what's the best we saw of Google as of late? A week ago they changed the layout of their home page which made it JavaScript dependent and harder to work with. That's not innovation, that's regression. As for the rest of their new offerings, they mostly come from companies they bought recently.

      Yahoo's holding on to their "portal" strategy since this is where the most of their income comes from so their search acceptable but certainly not good enough or innovative. They can't risk spending too much money on search R&D alone.

      As for Microsoft Live, they're apparently trying to come up with interesting interfaces for search, but they are quite young on that one market, their search results aren't really good, and need the experience of Yahoo to give them a boost and incentive to spend more research in the area.

      So, bottom line: monopoly is never good, even when it's supposedly "not evil".

      • The competition to Google won't come from the search engine space, it'll come from something which can provide a similar service but in a slightly different way. I'm guessing something like del.icio.ous or some machine learning system a maths whiz comes up with.
         
      • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday May 28, 2007 @05:10AM (#19298375) Journal
        Yahoo working with MS would be a total disaster to Yahoo. EVERY company that MS has partnered with, where MS is the junior partner has always resulted in MS using that to slingshot themselves past that company while taking them down. In terms of a merger, that would actually be detrimental to the industry. It is far better that both companies keep on their paths to enable multiple search paths (so to speak).

        As to some of your following rational, let me take a shot at it.:
        1. Right now, Google is aware of scams because so many attempts are made. It is far easier for Google to see it, when they are bearing the brunt of it. The interesting thing, is that spammers will now be able to make even more use of them. MS has a long history of poor security and will almost certainly miss what Google has done with this. MS will try to copy such items as the cache, and it will be used by spammers.
        2. Good point, but you assume that you are high in all. Chances are that if you take a hit in Google (you were almost certainly on a edge in the first place), then you were probably not at the top on the others.
        3. I doubt that Google would de-list you because you sue them. That would invite a looksy by the feds.
        4. Google is already extremely innovative. In fact, Yahoo was as well ( a decade ago). Sadly, MS is not. To be nice, they are copiers of other people's work with a one-off. If you want innovation, then keep all 3 companies seperate.
        As to Google's innovation, not all of it is visible. Wait. I have no doubt that Google has some interesting things coming. They have been hiring true best and brightess, not wanna-be's. As it is, you point to search as being their innovation, when in reality, it is data mining for their ads that they are true experts at.
        Yahoo is also interesting in that they are moving towards changing their infrastructure to make it easier to change. They are hoping to have the nimbalness of Google, as well as the ability to control their ad space.
        MS is throwing more than 10x the money that both of the other company combined are currently throwing at it. Give MS time.

        If you want true innovation, then disallow such a merger/partnership. MS has never used a merger for information. It has always been market share that they want. In addition, MS already has a monster monopoly that they can (and apparently are ) using to help themselves. They would use this to shut out Google, not compete against them.
        • by suv4x4 (956391)
          Google is aware of scams because so many attempts are made [..] MS has a long history of poor security and will almost certainly miss what Google has done with this.

          I'm not sure how you imagine the workflow in Microsoft regarding this, maybe something like this:

          Jo: Hey, spammers are attacking Live.com successfully!
          Bob: Yup, I see that.
          Jo: Ok, I'll analyze why this is happening and propose a fix...
          Bob: NO! WAIT! Don't forget: we have a long history of poor security.
          Jo: Oh yea, what the hell was I thinking. W
          • by Dan Ost (415913)
            but there's tons of obvious stuff they could do to improve the search experience which they don't seem interested in.

            What sorts of things have you got in mind?
      • I just verified that my javascript was turned off and went to google.com. I didn't find that anything required javascript.
      • it'll be nice to see Yahoo and Microsoft work (or merge?) together better, so they can compete better against Google.

        When Google started, the dominant search services were Altavista and Yahoo. Google didn't need to merge with anyone to completely dominate the search business, they just created a better search algorithm.

        If either Microsoft or Yahoo or anyone else wants to compete better against Google, the first thing to do is to hire talented *technical* people and let them work at developing a better sear

      • Google may delist you overnight, after an algorithm tweak, for something completely innocent, and not SEO related at all, that you did on your site. It's unavoidable, even if Google was run by shiny white angels with halo above their heads, an algorithm for a search engine isn't an exact science, and so anybody in any moment can end up as an edge case that Google doesn't handle properly.

        If people spent more time creating genuinely *valuable* and original creative content for their sites instead of hirin
      • by Dun Malg (230075)

        A week ago they changed the layout of their home page which made it JavaScript dependent
        Their home page shows up exactly the same in plain HTML if you turn of JS. It's not JS "dependent".
      • by Snaller (147050)
        "I mean, what's the best we saw of Google as of late? A week ago they changed the layout of their home page which made it JavaScript dependent and harder to work with."

        While their "design" has started to suck in many areas (Google groups for instance), you don't need javascript to use the homepage.
    • by dcapel (913969)
      The Google giveth and the Google taketh away...
    • What bastardization of the word "monopoly" are you using to describe a ~65% marketshare? That's like saying that Coke has a monopoly on cola just because they're the most popular.
      • by Dan Ost (415913)
        You are considered a monopoly when you have undue influence over your market (and sometimes related markets). In some markets, that might require almost 100% market share, in other markets that might only require 20%.
    • A proper advertising campaign outside Google may work perfectly fine.

      Google is very important, but it is not the end of it all when it comes to the Internet.
  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Monday May 28, 2007 @02:43AM (#19297923) Homepage Journal
    As the current equivalents of buggy whip and button hook manufacturers, media companies that deliver their product as a physical artifact are dying. They won't go quickly or easily, and they'll fight in every way they can to hold on to their past glories.

    But the world turns and the new replaces the old. Such is how it always has been and always will be; try to feel just a little sorry (if you can) for those who become irrelevant in tomorrow's world. One day, it'll be your own chosen career or industry that slips below the horizon.

    Even the (rightfully) hated RIAA and MPAA are simply trying every angle they can in hopes of propping up their dying organizations for a little longer. The damage they do as they thrash around in their death throes will take years to clean up - but they will die, and the mess will be cleaned up.

    Against this background, why be surprised that some newspapers think that Google should pay them for the privelege of indexing their web pages? If they could make that pig fly, they could compensate for the loss in subscription revenues for - maybe another year or so. Google chooses not to pay, and chooses rightly. These companies are doomed and there's nothing for Google or anyone else to gain by delaying their demise.

    • Umm... maybe variety in reporting?

      If independent news pages, who depend on the revenue of ads and sponsoring, cannot cover their costs anymore, they will have to go. The large news media still have their revenue from good ol' newspaper or other offline publications, so they will survive.

      I wouldn't call it a good development to return to the pre-internet state, where you have a handful of newspapers to pick from that write essentially the same 'cause they belong to the same business group.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dan Ost (415913)
        The newspapers that actually produce content will do fine. It's the newspapers that regurgitate the AP stories that are screwed.

        If anything, Google is encouraging variety in reporting.
  • by EzInKy (115248) on Monday May 28, 2007 @02:54AM (#19297959)
    Look, like most I just don't have time to visit a couple of hundred sites to keep up on things. I want headlines and leads with enough information to let me know whether or not it is worth the effort to visit the news source. They should be thanking Google for providing the opportunity to garner more readers and subsequently increase their ad revenue.
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday May 28, 2007 @03:28AM (#19298077)
      [They should be paying Google]

      Look, like most I just don't have time to visit a couple of hundred sites to keep up on things. I want headlines and leads with enough information to let me know whether or not it is worth the effort to visit the news source. They should be thanking Google for providing the opportunity to garner more readers and subsequently increase their ad revenue.


      You're biased. They should be paying Google just as much as Google should pay them.

      Google isn't a charity organisation, there's no need for anyone to thank them. They are in this business to profit from other people's content. If there's no content, there's no Google. If there aren't search engines, the content can't be found.

      The balance in this relationship is closer to the middle than strongly going on either side.
  • Failing to adapt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sufehmi (134793) <.sufehmi. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday May 28, 2007 @03:16AM (#19298033) Homepage Journal
    The only constant is change. Apparently, some still doesn't know this.

    The old media who fail to adapt will be driven to extinction. The traffic driver now is Google, in the future it may be something else, and so on.

    There's a good example here of a new mass media company in Indonesia. They provide the news for free, with RSS feeds and so on. But instead of just that, as many old media company trying to move into Internet --- they also have a web store, ad-service via SMS, resell their incoming traffic, sell web-development & consultancy services,
    sell exclusive contents paid by simple premium SMS, successfully built an online community AND capitalize on it to make their Web 2.0 websites successful, and many other creative inventions.

    The old media on Internet have very high "hit-and-run" traffic. People came, read the news, and went away.
    The new media company I mentioned above, however, is able to capitalize on their incoming traffic; people will linger on for longer, actually do transactions with them; bottom line, more revenue streams.

    Again, this is not the fault of Google. The fault is at those who fail to adapt.
  • Excuse me? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082) <tim,almond&gmail,com> on Monday May 28, 2007 @03:36AM (#19298099) Homepage
    This is just short-sighted. "You're making money off our content, so we want a piece of that".

    I had a reasonably high-ranking UK blogger link to a blog entry of mine. He even cited a bit of it. So, he entertained some readers a little. At the same time, the hyperlink saw my traffic (and my tiny adwords revenue) double for about a week after.

    What I could have done is taken the same stupid attitude as the papers "stop using my content" and sat back in the satisfaction that he wouldn't be leeching off my content. He'd have maybe had less to interest his readers. But I would have lost some revenue.

    Don't these people get this?

    • by SEE (7681)

      This is just short-sighted. "You're making money off our content, so we want a piece of that".


      Except, of course, Google isn't making any money off Google News. Google News runs no ads.
  • With cookies/referrer, it's possible to generate an ad intermission when a link is followed from Google for the first time in an hour or so, but not when it comes from another page on the site. Since it's transient cookies, they will not be usually blocked by the browser and if they are, well someone is going to be watching lots of ads. Couple this with robots.txt and there is no reason a newspaper needs a special deal with Google to do business as they want without losing the benefit of indexing.
  • newstands to pay a fee to them because the presence of the newspapers attracts people to the newstands.

    Maybe the managers thinking about this should just leave the media business. They don't seem to know anything about it.

  • I've stopped reading any print media whether it is a magazine or a newspaper. Both are unbearably slow sources of standard news articles compared to the Internet. The only print media I read anymore are those that give in-depth or otherwise insightful articles that are not reported by the up-to-the-minute-news services. Even those I tend to read electronically. There are some trade mags that publish things that just are not in the "news" so they are good... but any 'news' information is best had off the web
    • I disagree... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by freedom_india (780002)
      Print media may not be "hip" with latest information, but the views matter.
      I subscribe to print editions of TIME and Economist purely for the joy of reading the views.
      The way in which it is presented also matters, not just the bland headline stating "Lohan arrested for DUI".
      I guess that's why FOX news is popular than ABC or PBS.
      Secondly, a paper magazine allows me to lie down on couch or bed and read at lesuire.
      Thirdly, a paper magazine has readers letters, opinion, etc., all concise in 48-pages.
      Magazines
  • Google should just shut out the newspapers that don't want to be listed.

    I don't think Google is violating any laws by posting stuff like one-sentence excerpts from sites and a link to them. They do the same on Google Web Search, and others do it to on their news search services. So I don't see a problem there. And if they remove sites that have a "personal" problem with it, they have no problem there either. Voila, dispute and headaches solved. I should become a manager.
    • by Dun Malg (230075)

      Google should just shut out the newspapers that don't want to be listed.
      The papers should shut themselves out (robots.txt)

      The fact that they've chosen the courts rather than basic web services shows what technological idiots they are.
  • Google links to newspaper stories that feature ads, so Google should get part of the revenue.
  • "We don't charge for indexing your content."
  • What about Drudge? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krygny (473134) on Monday May 28, 2007 @10:17AM (#19299691)
    Like Google News, the Drudge Report [drudgereport.com] is a news "agragator", simply linking to news sources. It's one of the most visited sites on the web, even for those who don't care for Matt Drudge's political bend. They get scoops and breaking stories posted before anyone else because visitors submit stories. Many news organization have a love-hate relationship with the site. Love the traffic, hate the politics. I used to work at the New York Times and passing through the Editorial/Journalism floors, it was not uncommon to see the Drudge Report displayed on a monitor.
  • if it was opt in. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by segfault_0 (181690) on Monday May 28, 2007 @11:19AM (#19300121)
    If google had started this as an opt in system where you had to pay to play, these same newspapers would be signing up without a complaint and the money would be going the other way. While I agree their participation should be optional - they should consider themselves lucky to have a site boosting hits on their site by those kind of numbers for free - in any other circumstances you'd have to pay for that kind of help. Is there anything more painful to watch that old school news businesses trying to figure out the internet?
  • "[blah blah blah] has observers considering both sides of the issue"

    In my experience, usually not so much.

    Or in other words, "You must be new around here."
  • What a moron (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SEE (7681) on Monday May 28, 2007 @12:03PM (#19300427) Homepage

    "If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?" Sam Zell, the new owner of the Tribune Company, asked reporters during a speech at Stanford University last month. The Tribune Company operates the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

    Zell didn't wait for the reporters to reply, according to The Washington Post. "Not very," he said.

    Uh-huh.

    Mr. Zell, have you ever looked at Google News? You'll notice something -- it doesn't run any ads. Not one. How, then, do you think Google is making money off "stealing" your content?

    You're a moron, sir.

    (Okay, technicality people, yes, now Google is adding news results to their "universal search". Do you really think that Google would take a major revenue hit if it reverted to the business model it had back three weeks ago?)
    • Before newspapers could ask Google to remove their entry only from Google News. But now with it merged with the normal search, it will be a much worse choice. Asking Google to not index your website is now equivalent of committing hara-kiri on the net.

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