Has the Great News Corp Exodus from Google already begun? [UPDATED]

Well we’ve been calling for Rupert Murdoch to put up or shut up for sometime, as have others, and it would seem to some great digging by Zee over at The Next Web that News Corp may be doing just that.

Despite the fact that just about everyone in the industry with half a brain acknowledges the fact that Google or blogs are to blame for the problems that News Corp and other traditional media companies are having. As Duncan just posted here in his article about a study published by the Fair Syndication Consortium

A study published by the Fair Syndication Consortium, an industry body backed by major media outlets in the United States, has found that blogs aren’t primarily responsible for content theft.

The study found that blogs account for less than 10% of “reusing” sites online (that is, sites republishing media content without permission), which the report notes is despite blogs “often [being] cited as having the most reused content.”

Yet in the eyes of people like Murdoch Google is the great criminal and bloggers – well we’re just thieves. For which the solution in their eyes is to yank their content from Google and put it behind a paywall so use thieves can rewrite and post instead of doing honest work.

So for the past month or so we have been listening the blustering going on wondering if or when the Great Exodus would begin. This is where some fine digging into the numbers by Zee comes in

According to Trend Visualizor, the total number of NewsCorp pages (a sum of MySpace, IGN, RottenTomatoes, …) has today dropped from 192 million to 12 million. Although all Google web sites still indicate that e.g. MySpace has 179 million pages in the index, the Google Search API is currently returning another number for that: only 7 million.

Of course this may be a bug, something we’re contacting Google about as we speak. That said, a look back at Google’s previous API calls show very few sharp drops. Could Murdoch have found a way to drastically remove itself from Google?


Which sites are Newscorp?

Looking at Murdoch’s principle sites, the numbers are astonishing:

Myspace: from 179 mio to 7 mio
RottenTomatoes: from 4 mio to 100.000
IGN: from 4 mio to 300.000
Stats.com: from 2.4 mio to 50.000
News.com.au: from 1.2 mio to 70.000
Sky.com: from 1.4 mio to 85.000
I suspect the Fox, National Geographic, Daily Telegraph, and other sites will soon follow.

No kidding it’s astonishing. This is just little league drops in visitor traffic that one might expect over holidays. This is the kind of drop that would give any sane person pause to reconsider and re-evaluate but then this is Rupert Murdoch we’re talking about. Kind of puts the old saying “more money than brains” into a new perspective eh.

UPDATE: I had originally moved this post back to draft status because after a discussion with Duncan we were rather concerned that the data collected by Zee at The Next Web might be flawed to a point, which Zee does in fact make reference to in his post.

But rather than leave it in limbo I am reposting in the hope that some other folks who are really good at digging out the real numbers might be able to verify – or refute – the basis of the numbers used in the post.

That said I’m still rooting for the number to be correct and hoping that Murdoch does oversee the demise of News Corp and finish his threat and pull everything from Google.