With a clean, no-nonsense interface and existing search engine traffic, Google News didn’t take long to attract a loyal following and elbow its way into the top-10 news sites, pulling in some 6 million unique visitors a month. Of course, executives at rival online news publishers couldn’t help but wonder why they shouldn’t just imitate Google’s model and pare their budgets to the bone.
As it turns out, however, Google has a problem that is nearly as complex as its algorithms. It can’t make money from Google News. —Adam L. Penenberg