Brazilian Media Wax Links Off Google

Brazilian newspapers have gone a step further than the French media, stripping Google News of the right to post article headlines and ledes when the news aggregation service links to their sites, unless it pays for the content.

The 154 members of Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers, which account for 90% of the country’s print media, have opted out of Google News en masse.  The association took the action in the wake of a contentious Inter-American Press Association General Assembly in São Paulo earlier this month when Google refused to discuss a compensation arrangement.

Association president Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto told the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas:

“Google News’ presence in the Brazilian market is small. We believe (the loss of traffic) is an acceptable price to protect our content and brands.”

Lindenberg asserted that, contrary to the conventional wisdom that appearing in Google search results boosts traffic, “providing the first few lines of our stories to Internet users” actually reduces the chances that readers would click through to read an entire article.

When responding to a similar controversy regarding links to French news content, Google recently claimed to direct four billion clicks each month to French media sites.

Despite disappearing from Google News, stories from the 154 newspapers’ websites will still show up in regular Google web searches, often including the headlines and snippets of relevant text.

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