News Sites Seek Readers via Search Ads
British Broadcasting Corp. has been a leader in this effort, buying Google ads on a range of news-related searches. Late last month, it bought its first paid listings on searches related to the Hutton Inquiry, which investigated a BBC report that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair embellished intelligence on Iraq to justify the war.
Google searches on topics such as Michael Jackson and the Manchester United soccer team also turn up links to BBC's coverage.
Other news organizations are following suit. The Financial Times is using Google's ad program to drive users to its special coverage of Comcast's hostile bid for Disney. The Wall Street Journal has Google ads tied to ImClone searches.
Smaller publications have used paid listings to capitalize on hot news topics. Covers.com, a Canadian sports news Web site, has Google paid listings for Kobe Bryant searches.
Google does not display its paid links on Google News. A Google spokesman said the search engine has no plans to add paid listings to the site, which is still in test mode.