Google's Paid Inclusion Model: Traditional Publishing Is Not Dying

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Bambi Fransisco, an 8 year star reporter at MarketWatch, announced she quit to work on a personal project. Reporters can make more as independent bloggers and market commentators than traditional publishers are willing to pay, but those publishers still have leverage over Google.

Today Google announced they settled the AFP copyright infringement lawsuit. Sam Zell, who recently purchased the Tribune company, asked the following question:

"If all the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content for nothing, what would Google do, and how profitable would Google be?" Not very, he said.

Will this trend spread? Will it ever reach smaller publishers? Perhaps paid inclusion will make a comeback, but with the engines paying large publishers, and the deals being done in dirty backrooms out of the public eye.