Associated Press and Google News aren't exactly getting along right now. According to the AP, Google News and other content aggregators often come too close to violating the principles of fair use. Most people, however, would argue that these aggregators actually bring more traffic to newspaper websites, and according to the latest data from Hitwise, this is exactly the case.It's no secret that the
Search traffic, according to Hitwise, is the largest driver of traffic to sites in the company's 'News & Media' category (21.6%). Portal frontpages like My Yahoo and My MSN currently drive about 13% of traffic to these sites, and social networking services and forums drive about 4.9%.
Blogs and personal websites are only responsible for a very small 1.5% of all traffic.
There is also a lot of traffic that is directly shared between news sites. Outbound traffic from other news sites accounts for just as many visits as traffic from search engines (21.6%).
According to Hitwise, the Drudge Report is the largest single source of visitors to news and media sites. Google News (1.5%), CNN.com (1.4%) and Yahoo! News (0.8%) also drive relatively large amounts of traffic, but it is interesting that no single site really holds anything close to a monopoly here.
The Associated Press and the traditional newspaper business are obviously under a lot of stress right now (and in many ways, Craigslist is the real culprit here - not Google News and portals), but a large part of traffic to news sites is driven by portal sites. We can't blame the AP for trying to protect its intellectual property rights, but, as Google's Eric Schmidt described it, "these are ultimately consumer businesses and if you piss off enough of them, you will not have any more."
Image credit: Flickr user Matt Callow