We continue to marvel at the way the newspaper industry spins the existence of Google News.
Google News, the newspaper industry says, steals information that honest newspaper people have sweated and toiled to obtain, plasters it willy-nilly all over its own site, and then cashes in by selling advertising around it. This is theft, the newspaper industry says. Congress must put an immediate stop to it.
Can they really be serious?
Here at The Business Insider, we LOVE Google News. Why? Because when Google News lists one of our stories in a prominent position, our servers start smoking as thousands upon thousands of global readers immediately start reading it. When this happens, we don’t wail and moan about those sleazy thieves at Google. We shout, “Yeah, baby!” and start high-fiving all around.
As Google has explained time and time again, and as Marissa Mayer told Congress yesterday, we could easily stop Google News from indexing our site by adding a line of code to our pages.
But why on earth would we want to do that?
As we see it, Google is advertising our stories for free. If the newspaper industry owned Google News, we have no doubt that we’d have to pay to be included in it. So if Google wants to make some money by helping their users find our content, we’re all for it.
Newspaper industry executives aren’t morons, so we suspect that, deep down, they’re happy when Google News sends them zillions of readers, too. They just can’t say that out loud. Because if they said that out loud, it would undermine the sense of entitlement they have developed after more than a century of printing money because THEY, not Google, were the most convenient way for people to get a good dose of news. And it’s the end of that era, we suspect, that newspaper executives are really upset about.