What do you get when you cross legacy newspapers with an arch conservative right-wing publisher? Rupert Murdoch, that's who! In a new twist as how to not play nice with Google and the other top search engines, Murdoch's controversial approach might either become a new business model for other newspapers to emulate, or a crash and burn scenario that sees the rise and fall of his own Phoenix!
The Iconoclast of News Corp. accused Google and other search engines of stealing his company's content by linking to it in search results without paying. Murdoch said the "content kleptomaniacs" would soon have to pay.
The content produced for Murdoch's Wall Street Journal and the New York Post might just become a little harder to find if his tabloid team has their way in blocking search engines from finding them ( note: I linked to both newspapers for this blog - check to see if those links are working!).
Murdoch's interview with Sky News editor David Speers could make a huge impact if Murdoch's plan works. In this video Murdoch's notes "we'd rather have fewer people coming to our website, but paying." In reference to "search people," he next added, "They don't suddenly become loyal readers of our content."
So is this some kind of bluff or an attention-grabbing stunt to satiate Murdoch's over-inflated ego. Going rogue and throwing his weight around isn't exactly new for Murdoch. However, building silos around one's newspapers' web sites is a questionable tactic.
Danny SullivanDanny Sullivan in his Search Engine Land blog suggests a compromise: "Publishers can have Google News index the entire text of their articles but NOT show the full story to visitors who come from Google (for Google’s web search, that’s not an option — but you can provide summary pages). They can also, if they choose, have only a small summary of their content indexed. These aren’t special hidden features that News Corp wouldn’t know about. Both are explained in Google’s public help files."
Can Murdoch really block Google's webcrawlers? Aren't those little bots invincible? Do you think Murdoch will be successful in pirating his material out of the hands of the Google et al? Stay tuned. My personal opinion is Captain Murdoch will jump ship just as soon as his subscription numbers start to tank! Remember what happened when the Wall Street Journal was gunning for LinkedIn back in August... that's right...absolutely nothing!