Home > Media > The Grapes Are Sour?

The Grapes Are Sour?

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Emanuel Joute

News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch is talking about stopping Google from indexing his newspapers. He wants his content to command a premium online, and not give search engines a free ride. So what gives? Leaving aside the financial risks, the immediate fallout would be a steep fall in traffic. According to Web tracking site Experian Hitwise, News Corp.’s flagship publication The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) could lose up to 25 per cent of its traffic. Hitwise said that on a weekly basis, Google and Google news are the top traffic providers for WSJ.com, accounting for over 25 per cent of its traffic. Also, over 44 per cent of WSJ.com visitors directed from Google are “new” users who haven’t visited the domain in the past 30 days.

Does Murdoch have a new gameplan and willing to accept this fall in online traffic? Or is this just a ploy to get Google into talking money? Google, on its part, has no plans to bite the bait as yet. It issued a statement saying how easy it would be for News Corp. to remove itself from the Google News tool and the search engine itself. This episode raises other issues such as the future of online content distribution, plagiarism and revenue models. According to Hitwise, links from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook account for 4 per cent of  visits to news and media sites in the US – a percentage that is up 490 per cent year-over-year.

So, can Google live without Murdoch? Or can he live without Google? Pick your choice.

  1. Amit Gupta
    November 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Very valid statement SriVidhya – I admire Murdoch’s foresight and I am sure that this is the starting point for some serious changes in the search engine business!

  2. Dechen
    November 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    interesting…anyway, most folks will still get free news, so RM better think of something fast

  3. abhinandan
    November 11, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    i choose Google. 🙂 Murdoch may be right in his own sphere, but when it comes to the net it will not be viable for him to stop Google from googling at his enterprise.

    Interesting read…like always.

  4. Srividhya
    November 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Rupert Murdoch being the kind of media baron that he is, should be having a gameplan up his sleeve. What seems an audacious move today may become the industry norm tomorrow.

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