If anything, news outlets should be wary of any scheme that makes them financially dependent on the company, which claims it doesn't make any money from showing news headlines and links to publishers.
“Google Search doesn't make any money when a user clicks on a news search result, rather when users click on ads, " Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia, said in a blog post. " News.google.com has no ads, nor does the news results tab on the search page.”
Google doesn't monetize the news, raising questions about how valuable publisher content is to the company. Instead, publishers monetize the traffic that Google generates by selling banners, native advertising and subscriptions on their sites.
"Studies show that snippets encourage people to click through to websites, meaning that publishers get more visitors seeing ads on their sites," Silva said.
While I'm sympathetic to publishers that feel like they're being robbed by Google, it isn't clear how the search company is damaging them financially.<
Google is enormously powerful as the gateway to the internet for billions of consumers. The company deserves scrutiny for controlling what information people see, including controversial news that many governments want to suppress. Conceivably, the company can change its indexing algorithms and make a publisher disappear from search results overnight.
There are parts of the company's operations that are more deserving of antitrust scrutiny, such as its dominance in the digital ad market.
The U.S. Justice Department and state attorneys general are examining whether Google has abused its power, which likely will grow as the coronavirus pandemic inflicts greater damage on smaller rivals for digital ad dollars.