A couple days ago, the New York Times announced that it would stop charging for additional parts of its website, and open up all archived content from 1987 to the present, effective within 24 hours.
Reason being for the NYTimes transition (from the article itself): "What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue."
The article also alluded to the fact that the Wall Street Journal remains "the only major newspaper in the country to charge for access to most of its website", with reason as their pay dynamic generates over 1 million online readers and about $65 million in revenue.
Regardless, the Wall Street Journal appears to be entertaining the idea of losing such revenue. Rumor has it that Murdoch has it on his priority list to address the access to paid-for-content. An article in the print edition of the WSJ today (a day after the NYT announcement) was titled, "WSJ.com may drop fees".
It seems as if the WSJ, for one, is guessing they might earn more money thorough advertising associated with their content. Thats one part of it.
Even more surprising, is that The New York Times Online (as the leader in onilne newspapers - 13 millon unique visitors per month) is essentially saying that the majority of their exposure is generated externally through The Search Engine.
It is testament to how many people use The Search Engine (it deserves to be capitalized) for everyday content.