From the WSJ:
The move, which will let publishers block their content from Google News automatically by adding code to their Web sites instead of by contacting Google through an online form, comes on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that Google will allow publishers to set a daily limit on the number of articles users can read for free through its search engine.MediaNews owner Dean Singleton, who serves as chairman of the Associated Press, crowed a little at the offer:
"It's a signal that they're willing to work with the industry," said Mr. Singleton, whose company operates 54 daily newspapers in 11 states. "It may or may not be a shallow signal, but I take it as a positive move on their part."*Update, 12/3: In the pages of today's Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells newspaper publishers that they'd be better off using Google's tools than looking for lines of code to opt out:
The claim that we're making big profits on the back of newspapers also misrepresents the reality. In search, we make our money primarily from advertisements for products. Someone types in digital camera and gets ads for digital cameras. A typical news search—for Afghanistan, say—may generate few if any ads. The revenue generated from the ads shown alongside news search queries is a tiny fraction of our search revenue.
It's understandable to look to find someone else to blame. But as Rupert Murdoch has said, it is complacency caused by past monopolies, not technology, that has been the real threat to the news industry.