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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