Can Google Be The Answer To Newspapers Problems?


While Rupert Murdoch sits alone in his News Corp. castle with shoes three sizes too small, demanding that none of his publication’s content show up in a Google News search results, not everyone thinks that news aggregators will be the end of journalism as we know it. In fact, some believe that Google can actually help publications make money. And ironically, one of the arguments for that case was made in today’s Wall Street Journal, a News Corp.-owned paper that’s still paying Google money to advertise on its site.

The argument was made Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO. Is Murdoch playing nice, or just returning the favor by letting Schmidt get some editorial space for a change?

Schmidt writes:

Google is a great source of promotion. We send online news publishers a billion clicks a month from Google News and more than three billion extra visits from our other services, such as Web Search and iGoogle. That is 100,000 opportunities a minute to win loyal readers and generate revenue—for free. In terms of copyright, another bone of contention, we only show a headline and a couple of lines from each story. If readers want to read on they have to click through to the newspaper’s Web site. (The exception are stories we host through a licensing agreement with news services.) And if they wish, publishers can remove their content from our search index, or from Google News.

This succinctly makes the point that other columnists have been trying to get across to News Corp. for weeks now: Google isn’t a news aggregator and it doesn’t “steal” stories beyond showing a line or two of text. Again, perhaps the only exception to this is The Wall Street Journal, in which enterprising parties can use Google to get past the site’s pay wall. Meaning that even if you don’t have a subscription to the paper, you can still read Schmidt’s editorial today. But maybe that’s just the point Murdoch is trying to make.

Read More: How Google Can Help Newspapers The Wall Street Journal

Previously: Video: News Corp. Gets Grinchy With Google , Google Responds To Murdoch’s Threats: Bring It