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Google Calls ‘BS’ On Sunday Herald

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It was as much news to Google as it was to everybody else when UK-based Sunday Herald reported that the search giant had reached a financial agreement with several British newspapers to index their content for Google News.

An especially astute news reader (human, not robotic) will notice phrases like "is understood to have," "are reputedly being," and "seems that," especially when used in dense succession, and lower his stock in the report.

At any rate, the Sunday Herald‘s report was taken as near-Gospel and Google followers began to wonder how many news organizations were going to be able to squeeze Google for cash.

But the biggest red flag should have been that both sides of the deal were trying to keep things quiet lest other publications got the same idea.

Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan must have noticed these small, linguistic hedges around the news, wondered about the sense behind it, and got Google on the horn to explain themselves.

Google responded with a categorical "no." They don’t pay to index content, fair use is still their story and they’re sticking with it. There’s no quite deals going one, everybody go back to what they were doing.

Google Calls ‘BS’ On Sunday Herald
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  • Raju

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