Google Stops Hosting AP News

from the isn't-this-a-good-thing-for-newspapers? dept

Peter Friedman points us to the news that Google has apparently quietly stopped hosting AP content on its site. You may recall that a little over two years ago (after much back and forth), Google began hosting AP content. This was licensed content that Google had paid for -- but that deal came about after the AP made some noise suggesting that Google's linking to content (with headlines and snippets) could be infringing. Rather than stand up to that (surprisingly, since it had a strong case), Google just did a licensing deal. What amazed me, at the time (and since), is that this didn't piss off AP members. Before this deal, Google would link directly to AP member websites who posted versions of AP stories, driving more traffic to those newspapers sites. After this deal, however, Google sent most of that traffic directly to its own site, and paid the AP directly for the license. The end result? The "members" of the AP got less traffic and fewer ad impressions. If I were an AP member I would be incredibly pissed off that the AP was directly competing with me and basically getting paid by Google to block traffic to my site.

So why has Google stopped posting new AP stories? Some think it may be Google calling the AP's bluff. That's because, despite having a deal that gives the AP lots of money for the right to post its content, the AP continues to make ridiculous claims that Google is somehow "stealing" its content. So, some suggest that Google pulled the content to show the AP what life is like without Google. There may be a more reasonable explanation, however. The original AP/Google deal expires towards the end of this month, and the original deal (stupidly, annoyingly, and against basic web accepted best practices) only allowed Google to host content for 30 days. After that, it disappears and people searching for that old content or following old links are simply told its gone (think of how much ad revenue the AP has lost because of that...). With the deal running out, Google knew it would then need to take down all AP content immediately, and it probably did not want to have content posted for less than 30 days -- so when it hit the 30 day mark, it just stopped posting content to avoid having stories that would go up and be taken down too rapidly.

Still, it makes you wonder how AP member papers are faring -- since they may now be getting more traffic from Google, because those AP stories showing up online from AP member papers will now get listed, once again, instead of just being hosted on Google itself.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: journalism, licenses, news
Companies: associated press, google

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2011 @ 11:04am

    If was at AP I would pretend I was a journalist and that people took me seriously.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.