Newspapers rest easy, Google’s march to world domination may have hit a snag. Namely Google News. According to the NYT Google News, a self-automated news aggregator, ranks eighth among news sites (Yahoo! News is first). Not only that, unlike say Google Maps which with its somewhat unnerving pictures of locations sometimes strikes us as a sort of CIA project made public Google News is just not evolving. There is some speculation (which we find difficult to believe) that Google isn’t sure what to do with it.
Google says traffic is not its ultimate goal, and that the point of Google News is about helping “users find news sources that they might not know about otherwise.” While newspapers live in fear of Google and its ability to draw away readers and advertising dollars (it should be noted Google News has no advertisers as yet) there is the argument that Google News actually drives traffic to other news sites since all it provides are links, so perhaps this is all part of their moral imperative. Whatever it is, considering Google’s track record, if Google News isn’t delivering up to everyone’s expectations than we sort of have to assume that it’s intentional. World domination is a tricky business.