Three years after the start of the U.S.-oriented news.google.com, Google launched a Dutch version of their news portal on 26 January. Surprisingly, this has upset Dutch newspapers, who believe that Google should have asked them for permission to index their articles.
Today NDP (Nederlandse Dagbladenpers), a Dutch organisation that looks after the interests of the country’s daily newspapers, has invited Google Benelux for a business meeting to discuss the matter. According to NDP, Google has violated the rights of the publishers and they require a business agreement.
Marc Duijndam, head of Google Benelux in Amsterdam, accepted the invitation and plans to explain to DNP how Google News works; he emphasized that publishers can request articles to be kept out of the index, but he does not advise this as Google News provides readers with a portal that will increase their readership. Duijndam wants to make it clear to NDP that by copying the headline and the first few sentences of a news article, they are attracting more visitors to their sites.
Duijndam does admit that Google News can change the reading habits of users: “Intensive users of Google News will start to read differently; they can read several articles about the same subject from different viewpoints, and then create their own opinion,” he said, “but that will, according to us, only improve the quality and diversity of the news.”
Apparently, the Dutch newspapers are not looking for more readers and prefer to stay on their own little islands, instead of being part of the larger internet. I think the Dutch Google News is great. I find the homepages of Dutch news sites extremely difficult to navigate; the homepages are often SO chaotic and messy! Have a look at this homepage of one of the largest national newspapers De Telegraaf, it takes you minutes just to find the latest headlines between all the animated GIFs:
Source: NDP eist overleg met Google (Dutch)