Brazilian Newspapers Apparently Don't Want Traffic; They All Opt Out Of Google News

from the how-much-do-they-spend-on-seo? dept

We've already seen newspapers in Belgium and Germany argue that Google needs to pay them for linking to them in Google News. And we just wrote about how French newspapers were looking for the same ridiculous handout. But a bunch of Brazilian newspapers have taken the issue even further, and colluded to all pull out of Google News together (well, 90% of all newspapers in Brazil). They're demanding that Google pay them to link to them. Of course, I'm curious if any of those newspapers has ever hired an SEO expert to try to get them better search rankings...

Google, as it does, has pointed out that it sends these newspapers a ton of traffic, which you would think they'd appreciate. A Google representative pointed out how ridiculous the newspapers' stance was:
it would be absurd for a restaurant to tax a cab driver for taking tourists to eat there.
In the meantime, if I were one of the 10% of newspapers smart enough not to opt-out, I'd be going all out to try to steal that traffic from the big newspapers.

The newspapers defended their decision by arguing that Google News is "not helping us grow our digital audiences." Instead, they claim that "by providing the first few lines of our stories to Internet users, the service reduces the chances that they will look at the entire story in our web sites." I'm wondering how they determine this, because I can't see how that would possibly be true. Google notes that it sends four billion clicks to news sites each month. The newspaper guys seem to assume that without Google News people will just go straight to their newspaper sites, which is a huge assumption. It also assumes that the people looking at Google News aren't clicking through on news articles. Those both seem like very big assumptions that are likely to be entirely incorrect.

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  1. icon
    Nom du Clavier (profile), 19 Oct 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Newspaper: But if people read the snippet, they no longer need to read the article!
    Judge: So what you're saying is, Google copies the entire article?
    Newspaper: No, your honor, but the snippet contains enough that people might not want to read the entire story.
    Judge: So what you're saying is, you write predictable drivel and any random excerpted piece of it is enough to know the rest?
    Newspaper: Derp.

    So which is it? Either there is value in Google driving traffic and they just want to be paid for receiving free advertising, or the news sites want to hide that articles can indeed be summarised accurately by Google in 2 sentences.

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