Nearly half of Google News users just skim headlines

 @ibtimes on January 20 2010 3:47 PM

Nearly half of the users of Google News skim the headlines at the news aggregator site without clicking through to the publisher, according to new research.

The findings give further ammunition to publishers who insist that Google and other news aggregators are linking to their stories without paying any advertising revenue.

Google responding to the criticism saying in the past saying it drives about 100,000 clicks every minute to media websites, generating ad revenue for the news outlets.

Outsell analyst Ken Doctor said in a statement that among the aggregators, Google's effect on the newspaper industry is particularly striking.

Though Google is driving some traffic to newspapers, it's also taking a significant share away, Doctor said. A full 44 percent of visitors to Google News scan headlines without accessing newspapers' individual sites.

Thirty percent of those surveyed said they do not use Google to find news stories, but instead use search providers or to go directly to news websites.

Twelve percent said they use Google to get to a news site, then opting to use the site's internal search to find articles. Fourteen percent said they go back to Google to find other newspaper stories.

The effect of aggregators have been particularly challenging for the media industry, particularly among the recent downturn of advertising revenue.

The New York Times said Wednesday it will start charging consumers for unlimited access to articles on its Web site in 2011 in the hope that it can generate a new, reliable revenue stream.

The move mirrors the model of some other larger news papers, like the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

With a number of US newspaper owners considering charging online, Outlook found that only 10 percent of those surveyed would be willing to pay for a print newspaper subscription to gain online access.

For its annual News Users' survey, Outsell asked 2,787 US news consumers in July about their online and offline news preferences. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

Outsell found that 57 percent of news users looking for news right now go to digital sources, up from 33 percent a few years ago.

Thirty-one percent were likely to turn to a news aggregator or portals while 30 percent said they would count on television.

Eight percent said they would use newspapers online. Eighteen percent said they would go to other online sites while seven percent said they would turn to radio.

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