13 November 2009

How NOT To Show Up In Google SERPs

Rupert Murdoch is determined to change the way print content is treated on the web. In addition to being one of the first and largest media companies to plan a full-scale switch from free to paid content models for its newspapers, Murdoch is saying he will block News Corp content from being indexed by Google.

The issue involves the debate surrounding free versus paid content. Murdoch has made it clear for months that he believes free content online devalues the worth of the content. With that in mind, News Corp plans to stop offering its news sites for free, though Murdoch has said the company might not meet its own deadline of charging for content across all sites by the middle of next year. Murdoch’s company has clearly been at the forefront of the debate, and Murdoch expects a paid model to begin to be played out more and more often over the next two years.

News Corp, if it does indeed block Google’s access to its content, will be the first major media company to do so. “The traffic which comes in from Google SEO brings a consumer who more often than not reads one article and then leaves the site,” Miller says. “That is the least valuable traffic to us… the economic impact [of not having content indexed by Google] is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it.”

Google, for its part, claims to send news organizations about 100,000 clicks every minute. “Publishers put their content on the web because they want it to be found,” said a spokesperson (via the Telegraph). “But if they tell us not to include it, we don’t.”

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