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Blocking Google being eyed as a way to get people to pay for News Corp content

Rupert Murdoch's move to online users to pay for content they read is infamous at this point. The publishing impresario has some of the most popular newspapers in the world under his News Corp umbrella.

Murdoch is also running one of the few successful publications online that charges for access -- The Wall Street Journal. The catch for Murdoch is that there is a well known workaround for accessing WSJ content online without having to pay or register with the publication -- Google. You can search the title of most any WSJ story that requires a paid account with Google and find the complete article for free.

Murdoch is now saying that he will remove stories all together from Google's search index as a way to encourage people to pay for content. Encourage here is a synonym for force. Murdoch told Sky News Australia that the papers in his empire including the Sun, Times, and WSJ would consider blocking Google entirely once that fully enacted plans for charging people to read stories.

Murdoch said, "I think we will (block Google), but that's when we start charging. We have it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it's not right to the ceiling. You can get, usually, the first paragraph from any story - but if you're not a paying subscriber to all you get is a paragraph and a subscription form."

Murdoch continued saying, "There's a doctrine called fair use, which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether... but we'll take that slowly."

Murdoch had previously promised that starting in 2010 charging for the use of his websites would be enacted. He is backtracking on that a bit and now says that he won’t promise that date will be met.

Murdoch said, "The people who simply just pick up everything and run with it – steal our stories, we say they steal our stories - they just take them. That's Google, that's Microsoft, that's, a whole lot of people ... they shouldn't have had it free all the time, and I think we've been asleep."

The ill will between Murdoch and Google is building on the back of significantly reduced traffic to MySpace. MySpace has a lucrative search deal in place with Google that may be one of the reasons the paid content work around has not been addressed before. With significantly increased competition from Facebook pushing MySpace into a second place spot in the social networking scene, MySpace has missed traffic goals set by Google. The shortfall in traffic equates to the potential for the loss of more than $100 million in income from the Google search deal.

As Murdoch ramps up his schemes to make money off the internet, Google CEO Eric Schmidt continues to scoff at Murdoch's plans. Schmidt has said in the past, "In general these models (paid online content) have not worked for general public consumption because there are enough free sources that the marginal value of paying is not justified based on the incremental value of quantity. So my guess is for niche and specialist markets ... it will be possible to do it but I think it is unlikely that you will be able to do it for all news."

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Days of Google are numbered.
By itbj2 on 11/9/2009 1:36:19 PM , Rating: 1
With the coming financial turmoil many companies will give up anything that does not make them money. So if news sites don't make money from their online division they will shut them down. This will be true for most blog sites that are offering their services for free.

But by far the biggest thing that will under cut Google is the new type of AI based search engines that are being developed. These search engines don't care about links or rankings they actually get you the answers you are looking for and won't just give you million links. These engines are much closer then most people realize and explains why Google is in a mad rush to get other products out. Once these engines are up and running they will eliminate the ad revenue for Google. After all Google is one search engine away from going out of business.

RE: Days of Google are numbered.
By Taft12 on 11/9/2009 1:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to call you out on this one. What you're describing is vaporware that will always be "just around the corner". I would love to see some evidence that goes beyond marketing.

Google itself could certainly be described as AI, and with much more R&D behind it than any supposed up and coming technology (that may or may not exist)

RE: Days of Google are numbered.
By itbj2 on 11/9/2009 2:04:46 PM , Rating: 1
That is what they said about Google before it got started and for matter of fact they said that about every technological break through.

Google is far from AI. All the new AI work is done with evolutionary coding and not some algorithm a person came up with.

RE: Days of Google are numbered.
By aj28 on 11/9/2009 8:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
It's still vapor, has never, and will never exist in the near future. If anyone comes out with one, it will be a Google.

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