John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Your Search– 'Publications With a Grossly Inflated View of Their Own Value'–Has Returned 12 Belgian Newspapers

It’s taken them a while, but Belgian newspaper publishers have finally managed to remember how the Internet works. On Thursday Copiepresse, an association of Belgian, French and German publishers whose contrarian and litigious stand on the benefits of search-engine traffic forced Google to remove its members from Google News in February, said the search engine could once again include them. Apparently, sometime during the past few months, Copiepresse’s crack tech team finally read Google’s “Prevent or Remove Cached Pages” FAQ . Either that or it realized that the loss of traffic its member sites suffered when Google yanked them from its index was far, far worse than profits lost after Google offered free “cached” access to archived material the sites normally sell. More than likely, it was the latter, as Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land, notes.

“The change means that the Belgian papers will now again begin receiving traffic from Google, something which they lost after suing to get out of Google News,” Sullivan said. That lawsuit resulted in them being taken not just out of Google News but Google entirely. The traffic drop had to have been painful. A new report from Hitwise shows that, at least for the U.S., newspapers get 25% of their traffic from search engines.”

If the metrics for European newspapers are even remotely similar, Copiepresse really shot itself in the foot by trying to strong-arm Google.
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