Despite the resentment many media companies feel toward Google for thriving while they decline, the search giant isn't deaf to the agony of dwindling ad revenue or of audiences migrating online.
In a move that may throw a bit more revenue toward distressed news organizations, Google on Tuesday said that stories culled from its news aggregation service, Google News, can now be embedded on any Web site.
"The world is a quickly changing place and it's getting harder and harder to stay on top of the news," said Google's Adam Feldman in a blog post. "With this in mind, we've just released a Google News-based element for Webmasters and developers. This makes it easy to integrate headlines and previews from Google News into any Web page, and for newspapers to reach new audiences across the Web."
Google is providing an online form that it's calling a NewsShow Wizard to help site owners generate the HTML code required to embed Google News on their Web pages. The generated code displays a slide show of Google News headlines based on chosen keywords. Here's an example of how it works using the keyword "teleportation":
Google News is one of the most popular news sites, along with Yahoo News and AOL News. Google does not generate revenue from Google News directly, but it generates revenue for the publishers of the stories that it aggregates by sending visitors who click through Google News links to their news sites. This makes Google News an important strategic partner for online news organizations. Though online publishers may dislike their growing dependence on Google News for referral traffic, they stand to gain if making Google News embeddable brings more visitors to Google News and thence to their sites.
Google has avoided placing ads on Google News in part to avoid claims that it's trying to profit from copyrighted content, a common complaint against a variety of Google's services. The company has maintained that any service that increases Internet usage benefits it indirectly, but syndicating Google News slide shows to Web site publishers also could increase visitor engagement, leading to more exposure for any Google AdSense ads on the site.