UPDATED (23rd November):
UPDATED (1st December)
never fails to find an interesting angle on an article, and today's take on
's recent speech is no different. Murdoch is the King at News Corp, and through its multiple publications, wields incredible power over society and governments. When
newspaper recently switched its allegiances back to the Conservatives in Britain, the Labour Party took note, and rightfully they should.
Murdoch, some would argue, is in a dying business. Newspapers and Magazines are clearly suffering, and TV is dead in the traditional channel format. And so he is fighting to protect his business. Murdoch recently announced he would start charging for online access for the content his paper's produce, and many (including myself) said this was a big mistake as there would always be a provider willing to put news content out there. And yes, some of his content is better quality, but whilst he owns The Sun, he certainly can't claim all of it is!
In a speech last week he announced the idea of blocking Google from indexing his site, something that goes against the traditional SEO thinking within the industry. But as The Register rightfully points out, what he did was to inform an industry on its knees how it has a chance to rise again and stand over all of us.
If Murdoch blocked Google's spiders, and others followed suit, then the value of Google search index would fall dramatically. It wouldn't go away, but a company whose mission is to "organise the world's information" has a unique problem. If it can't access that information, then the mission statement will never be fulfilled.
What Google would be left with is an apparatus - created at great expense - for collecting much of the world's garbage. Google becomes the world's most stupid tape recorder - collecting all the dross that was never intended to be recorded - drivel, overheard. Much of this is spam, created by bots; much of the rest is chatter.
This is a highly relevant point.
So, if his content is wanted, and can't be found through Google, people may start paying his fees. Or, there may even be a deal to be done where Google is forced to pay for access to his content to maintain their own value?
He has every right to block his content if he wishes, and as was
in a legal case between eBay and auction aggregators, if Google were to go against the wishes of News Corp, Murdoch can sue them for Digital Trespassing.
Interesting times, this one is going to ride for a while.
UPDATE (23rd Nov 2009):
The idea of an engine paying to index news content has now happened.
. Something like this may change the search landscape faster than anyone previously predicted.
UPDATE: (1st Dec 2009):
Murdoch has successfully created fear at Google HQ as can be seen with the recent changes they have made for publishers in relation to how they index their content: