By now, you’ve probably heard News Corp.'s, Rupert Murdoch’s complaint that Google, and other high profile search engines, are making money by stealing his content. The first question that comes to many peoples mind is, Mr. Murdoch, do you know how Google works?
It’s no surprise that the Internet is continuing to climb as the preferred way for people to get their news. According to an article in the New York Times, “Web Passes Papers as a News Source,” even though 40 percent of Americans get most of their news from the Internet, this number doesn’t represent an actual decline in the popularity of newspapers – or even getting news via the television.
The funny thing is that Google doesn’t force Web sites to be included in its search listings, and in fact, it’s very easy to remove yourself from its listings. For instructions on how to do this please see the blog post on Newsweek, “Rupert Murdoch Says Google Is Stealing His Content. So Why Doesn't He Stop Them?”
With the ability to find news articles and new publications/blogs from a simple search on Google, I find that I’m not only reading more, but that I'm also following numerous sources (rather than just one). Google does a great job of letting you choose the sources you want to read, so isn't it silly to think that making content less search-able will be good for business – especially online newspapers?
Let’s face it, we’re all a little bit curious about what would happen if Murdoch declined free traffic to his sites from Google. Is it possible that publications like the Wall Street Journal have built up enough credibility that we’d still read the stories AND pay for them without being directed to them from our innocent Web searches?
If you take Google out of the equation, exactly what is Mr. Murdoch's plan to drive Web traffic? This will be interesting to watch.
– Contributed by Chantal LeBoulch. Follow her @cleboulch