Murdoch’s wrong about Google

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I reckon Rupert Murdoch’s plan to block Google from indexing News Corporation stories is daft, and I said so in Crikey yesterday with a piece they headlined Dear Rupert, this is how the internet works. Google it.

In brief, my commentary is that people don’t really get their news in a monolith any more, neither the daily newspaper or the nightly TV bulletin. Instead, they gather it from all over in little pieces. If you want people to find your stories, those stories need to be in the indexes.

Crikey editor Jonathan Green has also pointed out the stark difference between News Corporation and Google. I reckon News needs Google more than Google needs News.

Jason Calacanis has a different theory, that News will do an exclusive deal with Microsoft’s Bing.

“Want to search the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and 3,894 other newspapers and magazines?

“Well, then don’t go to Google because they don’t have them!

“Go to Bing, home of quality content you can trust!”

Which might work if News Corporation were the only supplier of general news. Which it isn’t. And which point I make in my Crikey piece.

5 Replies to “Murdoch’s wrong about Google”

  1. I don’t know who owns The Spectator. A copy of the print magazine Spectator Australia was handed to me yesterday evening as it has an interesting article by Ross Fitzgerald. The Spectator is seemingly a British magazine of some repute.

    On the bottom of the article is a URL to the Australian version of “on-line magazine”. On October 3rd. it was but this no longer works and if one searches for the Spectator on-line in Australia the resulting URL can be found via Google as being but instead of news there’s an invitation to subscribe to the print magazine – which isn’t the way the site in the United Kingdom works ( ) as this still contains news and blogs.

    I can see from the Google cache that this hasn’t been the case in Australia for very long (a few weeks at the most).

    Anway I couldn’t find the article on-line so I went to Ross Fizgerald’s blog and found a copy of the interesting article at

    October 2nd, 2009 – by ross

    Here’s a thought. Peter Costello resigns his seat of Higgins and links up with his old National Party buddy, John Anderson.

    I have hunch – that given the fact that Ross Fitzgerald is an Australian and we are referring to the Australian version of a magazine and given that Rupert Murdoch is/was an “Australian” – the Spectator may be taking it’s thinking from Rupert.

    Old site effectively blocked from Google.
    Pay for a print copy subscription.

    .. or find the blog of the author and read the content anyway.

  2. It may be worth noting that Rupert’s father Sir Keith Murdoch founded Australian Associated Press. It’s possible to purchase premium content from AAP (a news agency) and the amount paid is determined by the use being made of it – with different rates for on-line accesss.

    Here’s a link to a story that can be purchased from AAP features

    and here’s the story on-line

  3. @Fitzroyalty: I must admit, there is a certain urge to tell Uncle Rupert to just go for it an watch the empire crumble. Then again, as further commentary emerges there’s a few people saying that what he’s saying in public is all smoke and mirrors and there’s a larger strategy at play.

    I intend to watch the full video interview on the weekend and watch his body language very closely.

    @Bob Bain: That last example raises an interesting point: distribution is no longer bound by geography. A story is written, in this case by AFP. They sell it to a publisher, in this case a small [?] Chinese news site. the fee they pay i related to the size of the site’s audience. But once the story is online, it’s available to everyone, everywhere. How does this affect the news agency’s business model?

    Perhaps the business risk isn’t so much to the mastheads — whose job is to gather an audience in a certain market sector by providing them with some experience of value, and then sell advertising to match — but the news agencies. I don’t know, I’ve done no analysis.

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