Yesterday I wrote here at The Inquisitr about how stupid I thought the idea of Microsoft paying News Corp to pull its media properties from Google’s search index. Of course this is something that Rupert Murdoch; the power behind News Corp, has been advocating for sometime in the hope that he would be able to bluff Google into coughing up money for access.
Well so far Google isn’t blinking, and to be honest I don’t expect them to, but news out today shows that some more newspaper owners are swallowing the Murdoch proposal hook, line and sinker. Bloomberg is reporting that several MediaNews Group newspapers are considering the cut off your nose to spite your face action of pulling out of the Google search index.
A.H. Belo, based in Dallas, hasn’t decided if it will block Google News and any action isn’t “imminent,” said Moroney, who is also publisher of the Morning News. Blocking Google would be part of a larger strategy, he said.
A.H. Belo is considering models for charging for some of its Web content and plans to implement a pay wall within six months at either the Morning News, Rhode Island’s Providence Journal or Riverside Press-Enterprise, published in Riverside, California, Moroney said. That may require Web readers to go directly to the newspaper’s site to read stories, he said.
“This is traffic that’s not being monetized to any great degree,” Moroney said. “It’s akin to a person who drops into town, buys one copy of your newspaper and leaves town again and yet you spend a whole bunch of time building your business around that type of customer.”
The whole problem with that argument is that none of these newspapers are international, or even national to any large degree. Unlike newspapers like the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal their typical markets are regional at best in a world where borders are meaning less and people are looking to get their news from more globally oriented newspapers.
Where once this might have meant having a subscription to those large papers and waiting for delivery of them the reader can now get that news immediately on the web. Those types of newspapers could foreseeably survive on subscriptions and no presences in the Google search index.
The smaller regional / city newspapers however don’t have that big brand name luxury to bring in readers. For them survival may just very well rely on getting the best position they can in any and all search engine results.
By pulling out of search indexes like Google’s shows a total lack for foresight from the people involved. All they will be doing is hastening up their eventual demise.
What might work for the big boys like Murdoch could very well have the opposite effect on his competition; but then maybe that is what is hoping for because Google isn’t going to have any sleepless nights either way.