Sunday, March 01, 2009

Google News Adds Ads

Google have started to run small text ads on the pages of its Google News service. This again raises the advertising debate between Google and the newspaper sector. Since it began, some six years ago, Google has not placed ads on Google News. This has helped calm newspapers who believed that Google would build a competing news site based on their own material.

Google News automatically collects headlines and news from over 4,500 news sites and links users to the original articles on those sites. This drives significant traffic to many news sites. Google has maintained that its use of headlines and snippets was permissible under “fair use” provisions of copyright law.

In 2006, the World Association of Newspapers demanded that Google News stop indexing its member sites on the grounds that Google was profiting from the use of their copyright material. Agence France-Presse sued Google for the same thing in 2005. At the time, Google News carried no advertisements and hence, no obvious revenue stream.

The addition of AdWords to Google News was inevitable as the economy continues to weaken and Google looks to expand its revenue streams. But what will be the reaction from the newspaper sector now that they also feel the advertising downturn?

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