Rupert Murdoch has suggested that, due to tightening economic times, News Corp will remove its news content from Google searches, making the media giant’s online content available only to paying subscribers.
Murdoch has repeatedly accused Google of ‘stealing’ stories from News Corp Web sites to create listings on Google News, something he says makes independent news outlets unprofitable.
Internet users generally access most online news content for free, with Google listing content and directing traffic to news Web sites, which then generate revenue via online advertising. Increasingly however, tough economic times have seen many news outlets seeking alternative revenue sources, as both hard copy sales and advertising dollars continue to drop.
In a recent interview Murdoch said that casual Web surfers (as delivered via Google searches) are of little value to advertisers, and said that he intends for News Corp Web sites to make a shift to only providing content for full paying subscribers.
Google have said, in response to Murdoch’s comments, that any company can ask to have their stories taken off Google at any time.
“Publishers put their content on the Web because they want it to be found, so very few choose not to include their material in Google News and Web search,” a Google spokesman said.
“But if they tell us not to include it, we don't. There are simple technical standards, used by millions of Webmasters and honored by all reputable search engines, to instruct a search engine not to index a Web page or even a particular photo on a page. And if publishers want their content to be removed from Google News specifically, all they need to do is tell us.”