• http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Matt,

    I think Google wins this game of chicken. Indeed, as long as one company is willing to provide users with free quality news and analysis the mass market will choose free + advertisements vs paid. If news publishers collectively agreed to bar Google robots and start requiring paid subscriptions then Google might start sweating. Until then, Google remains in the position of power.

  • Matt McGee

    Exactly my thoughts, too, George. If it’s just News Corp, okay, there are plenty of other news sources out there worldwide. But … if a group of the big publishers got together and collectively did something to remove themselves from Google? I think Google has a problem at that point.

  • Avintrue

    So I would have to say that principle of pointing a finger with three pointing back at you is a good example here. If you are directly attacking Google, Bing, and Ask.com you probably should not be on the internet at all. Those are three of the four major search engines, excluding Yahoo. I work for an SEO company as a business and marketing consulting and to take yourself off of those search engines is business suicide. It wouldnt be a matter of less business. It would be a matter of no business. Over 90% of all internet traffic is search driven, while 70% of that traffic is through Google directly. How do you plan on getting known if you arent in a search engine? Just exclude articles, don’t remove yourself entirely. I would say Google doesnt need their business anyway. Good move Google.

  • http://www.jumpkicktofreedom.com dmarsch

    Interesting stuff… and if anything, this underestimates the importance of google to News Corp as a whole. From this data, WSJ looks to have a solid core of returning users, many of whom may in fact pony up to get access to top-tier financial reporting.

    But the other News Corp sites? The Sun or News of the World or New York Post? They don’t have any real differentiators from all the other sources out there, and certainly nothing that would compel a user to actually pay for the information. I’d hazard a guess that these other sites receive an even larger share of their traffic from search, and would absolutely tank if they start blocking spiders.