Following modifications to its "First Click Free" policy that gives Google News users access to some content that would otherwise be behind a pay wall, Google has released an additional tweak that lets publishers decide whether they want their sites to show up in Google News, Google Web search, both, or neither.
Previously, if a publisher wanted to request inclusion in one or the other, but not both, sending a request to Google was required. This now automates the process.
These updates to Google's news indexing come at a time when media outlets are once again pointing fingers at the search giant as a revenue suck--and in response, Google insists it's good for publishers because it drives traffic. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has made concrete threats that he will pull his publications' content from Google and is reported to be in talks with Microsoft to strike an exclusive deal on its Bing search engine.
By offering more flexible options for choosing where exactly news outlets want their content to appear, Google comes across as friendlier and less authoritative--at least on the surface.