Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Murdoch could block Google searches entirely.

I think Rupert Murdoch is losing his mind over this:

Rupert Murdoch says he will remove stories from Google's search index as a way to encourage people to pay for content online.

In an interview with Sky News Australia, the mogul said that newspapers in his media empire – including the Sun, the Times and the Wall Street Journal – would consider blocking Google entirely once they had enacted plans to charge people for reading their stories on the web.

In recent months, Murdoch his lieutenants have stepped up their war of words with Google, accusing it of "kleptomania" and acting as a "parasite" for including News Corp content in its Google News pages. But asked why News Corp executives had not chosen to simply remove their websites entirely from Google's search indexes – a simple technical operation – Murdoch said just such a move was on the cards.

"I think we will, but that's when we start charging," he said. "We have it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it's not right to the ceiling. You can get, usually, the first paragraph from any story - but if you're not a paying subscriber to WSJ.com all you get is a paragraph and a subscription form."

Why would anyone pay for Murdoch's content? Most Internet sites pay for themselves through advertising, so is Murdoch admitting that his sites don't attract enough visitors to make this method of financing the site feasible?

In the Sky News Australia interview, Murdoch underlined his feelings towards those companies by listing a litany of names of those that he felt were overstepping the boundaries.

"The people who simply just pick up everything and run with it – steal our stories, we say they steal our stories - they just take them," he said. "That's Google, that's Microsoft, that's Ask.com, a whole lot of people ... they shouldn't have had it free all the time, and I think we've been asleep."

The argument he makes here is that there is not enough advertising to go around and that he would like fewer visitors, but visitors who pay to access his content. I would argue that the content of his sites would have to be of a much higher quality before that business model would work.

I read The Independent every day online, but then I also buy the paper when I go for breakfast, because there will be stuff in the paper that I didn't come across online. I can't think of a single Murdoch publication that I even read every day, far less that I would read online and then pay for.

I think this idea will prove disastrous for his newspapers.

And, one only has to listen to his serious defence of Fox News as "fair and balanced", to realise that this guy is losing the bloody plot.

He even goes on to argue that Glenn Beck was basically right when he called Obama a racist.

SPEERS: The Glenn Beck, who you mentioned, has called Barack Obama a racist and he helped organize a protest against him. Others on Fox have likened him to Stalin. Is that defensible?

MURDOCH: No, no, no, not Stalin, I don’t think. I don’t know who that, not one of our people. On the racist thing, that caused a grilling. But he did make a very racist comment. Ahhh…about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And um, that was something which perhaps shouldn’t have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right.

I stopped watching at that point. And, if your opinion is so toxic that I can't even listen as you defend the indefensible, then there is no way on God's Earth that I am going to pay to find out what you think.

Click here for full article.


lofa said...

Good. Let him block his propaganda garbage from Google. Who cares about Murd(er)och. He's just another greedy money monster.

As the old saying goes, a fool and his money soon part.

daveawayfromhome said...

Seems to me that the basic meat and potatoes of the internet is links, that without a link, your story will go unread by a very large chunk of the internet. Maybe Murdoch's organization can be "profitable" without allowing non-payers to read his content, but he cannot be a part of the world wide web, and without that connection his influence (which is, after all, why he owns all those media companies) will wane in the overall world as people link to free (and so readable by everyone) content. I thought he was smarter than his greed, but I guess not.

Kel said...

Good. Let him block his propaganda garbage from Google.

I agree.

Seems to me that the basic meat and potatoes of the internet is links, that without a link, your story will go unread by a very large chunk of the internet.

It seems to me that he doesn't really understand the Internet, Dave. It's a really stupid move on his part.

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