Even publishers who are thinking about limiting Google's access to some newspapers realize it probably would be counterproductive to cut all ties with a search engine that is so pivotal in Internet navigation.
"We are in no shape or form at odds with Google," said William Dean Singleton, chief executive of MediaNews Group Inc., a private company that owns more than 50 daily newspapers, including The Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News. "There is no question that Google provides us with a large audience for our content, which we monetize with ad revenue."
Singleton probably will block Google from showing more than mere snippets from two MediaNews newspapers, the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania and the Enterprise-Record in Chico, Calif., that plan to start charging to read some of their content early next year. The rest of MediaNews' newspapers will remain fully available to Google, according to Singleton, who is also the AP's chairman.
Yet some publishers don't see Google as an ally. They contend Google's prosperity depends partly on its search engine's ability to show capsules of newspaper stories and photographs, without paying for the privilege.
Or they complain that the Web surfers who come to newspaper sites from Google's search engine often just read one story and then leave.
"A lot of it is just 'fly-by' traffic," said The Dallas Morning News Publisher James Moroney. "It not the kind of online relationship I am looking for. I want people who are going to come to our site multiple times a month."