It was just two weeks ago when News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch said to Sky News Australia that he wanted to take News Corp websites off of Google. This week, Microsoft has teamed up with News Corp to remove the sites from Google. And at the same time, Murdoch paid Microsoft to include their results on their search engine, Bing.
A report from the Financial Times says:
Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company’s being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.
The impetus for the discussions came from News Corp, owner of newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal of the US to The Sun of the UK, said a person familiar with the situation, who warned that talks were at an early stage.
However, the Financial Times has learnt that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine.
Several web publishers have been approached by Microsoft and one said that the plan “puts enormous value on content if search engines are prepared to pay us to index with them.”
Another publisher said that the plan “is all about Microsoft hurting Google’s margins.”
Google doesn’t seem worried, however. Last week, Matt Brittin, Google’s UK director, said, “Economically (news sites are) not a big part of how we generate revenue.”
Last week, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone warned that Murdoch “should be looking at it as an opportunity to do something radically different and find out how to make a ton of money out of being radically open rather than some money by being ridiculously closed.”
“I don’t know what the future of traditional media is,” said Stone. “But from my perspective and Twitter’s perspective I think there is a wonderful co-operative alliance there in terms of the wisdom of crowds, and as we add things to Twitter… maybe we can help.”
He went on later to say that Murdoch’s plan would most likely “fail fast.”