Google hosts wire stories: Meh
Is there a compelling reason for local newspapers to care that Google is now hosting stories from The Associated Press and other services on its own site instead of linking to them on outside news sites? Were you getting loads of high-quality traffic, as opposed to drive-by one-timers, to generic, non-local wire copy on your site? Were people on The Internets beating down the virtual door of your localnewspaper.com looking for the latest, already-available-everywhere updates on big national and international stories?
As far as I know, the AP doesn’t make a habit of covering my town’s commission or police department, or the elementary school across the street from me, or the football and soccer teams at the two high schools within two miles of my house, or the retail woes of the nearby shopping center. My local newspaper does.
Do newspaper sites’ inflated page view and other similarly simplistic audience stats, the only things likely to “take a hit” from the Google-AP deal, matter to anyone except the people who actually run newspapers? This is not print circulation we’re talking about here. Big is over.