My colleague Doug Winfield flagged up how The New York Times was using search traffic to drive interest in its stories (in this case The New York Times obituary for Pink Floyd member Richard Wright). This mustn’t be only about traffic, as a premium content provider like The New York Times can have its results injected into the search index. In fact search engine companies actively seek out these arrangements as part of their efforts to provide ever fresher, highly relevant search material.
So is there an arbitrage play happening? What is the revenue that The New York Times earns from vending banner adverts around a story compared to the cost of the key words that it had purchased to get the eyeballs there in the first place?