Newspapers accounting for 90% of the circulation in Brazil have abandoned Google News. Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers says all 154 members had followed its recommendation to ban the search engine aggregator from using their content
The papers say Google News refused to pay for content and was driving traffic away from their websites. Google said previously that the service boosted traffic to news websites.
“Staying with Google News was not helping us grow our digital audiences, on the contrary,” said the association’s president, Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto.
“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 websites,” he said, in an interview with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
The National Association of Newspapers, known by its Portuguese acronym ANJ, carried out an experiment with Google that began in December 2010.
This allowed Google News to carry the top line of news stories, to raise curiosity and get readers to click on the full story on the newspapers’ sites.
But the ANJ says the experiment has failed. Among the 154 titles that have pulled out from Google News are some of the country’s most important news sites, such as O Globo and O Estado de S. Paulo.
At a recent meeting of the American Press Association in São Paulo, Google defended its decision not to pay for the headlines from news websites.
“Google News channels a billion clicks to news sites around the world,” said Google’s Public Policy Director, Marcel Leonardi. He compared the ANJ’s demands to taxing a taxi driver for taking tourists to eat at a particular restaurant.
Brazil’s newspaper association said that, despite leaving Google News, many of the news organizations’ Internet portals will still be listed by the aggregator.
Internet users using Google – but not Google News – will still be able to find content from most newspapers’ sites, said the statement.