Two consider following News Corp – does Google have a problem?

Google insists it is not worried about News Corporation pulling its content, but as two more news groups start talking about doing the same the move towards paid content or pay walls means for certain that others will follow suit. And that could change things

Media News Group and A.H. Belo have added their names to that of News Corp which revealed earlier this week it was talking to Microsoft about an exclusive search deal with Bing.

It is probably important to stress here that MediaNews and A.H. Belo aren’t necessarily going to do exactly what News Corp is. The Dallas Morning News publisher Belo says it is looking at introducing subscriptions on its newspaper websites and would remove that content, but look to keep other news available to Google.

Neither are talking about a unilateral pullout, but it is a strong indication of what will happen next. More publishers will follow. For those that implement pay walls it makes sense to hide some content.

Google will tell you that it is not concerned at publishers removing their content. Well it has billions of dollars and its business is about more than search (although that is the cornerstone of it).

In a statement, a Google spokesperson said Google News consistently sends news sites about 100,000 clicks a minute, but that no one’s forced to be indexed. “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,” the statement said. “But if they tell us not to include it, we don’t.”

Google has so much more going on these days, but this could clearly give rivals an upper hand and make search the battle ground it should be.

If say the New York Times and Tribune Inc, to name two in the US, follow suit and say they are talking to Microsoft as well what does Google do then? Surely it makes sense for the search giant to offer up some cash? Frankly, it seems rude not to.

Google as much as we all love it (go Gmail) is when it comes to content like the guest who turns up at your party and hoovers all the food and booze and brings nothing. Obviously Google was invited, but some quid pro quo wouldn’t go a miss.


  • Dave Paget

    I say let the wars begin it will certainly be one to watch.


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