Like many publishers, Germany’s largest news publisher Axel Springer believed Google was piggybacking on its hard work by publishing small fragments of it stories in Google search results. So the German publisher tried an experiment, withholding its results from Google Search and Google News. (Lots of publishers think Google essentially steals their content and sells ad space on the fragments, making money without compensating the content creators.)
But the experiment of withholding story fragments from the powerful Google engines was called off abruptly this week. Google had complied with the request, eliminating the fragments and publishing only headlines. Traffic to the publisher from Google search declined 40% and fell 80% from Google News, according to Reuters. Classic case of you cannot bite the hand that feeds you.