The traffic came, the advertising came, but the well-paying is a work in progress, so in considering a firewall news sites also have to consider the impact on traffic and on advertising impressions.
Then there is the other, more recently voiced issue of Google and what it is deriving from news sites compared to what it is driving to them. Google permits companies to stay off its grid, but not unlike the firewall argument, one has to calculate the impact on traffic and ad impressions.
TechCrunch has calculated, for instance, that Rupert Murdoch's recent suggestion that his News Corp. properties might come off the Google search list would be a costly one: 25 per cent of traffic to the Wall Street Journal's site, for instance.
"If Murdoch wants fewer people coming to the WSJ.com and other news sites he controls, blocking Google from indexing those sites is the perfect way to achieve that goal," TechCrunch's Erick Schoenfeld argues.