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Murdoch and Bing alliance?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday November 24, 2009 )

Rupert Murdoch’s sabre rattling over Google has increased – it’s been reported that he’s in talks with Microsoft to give them the rights to index News Corp content; while banning Google from the same.

According to the Financial Times, Microsoft has been talking with News Corp about a deal where the company would receive payment to ban Google from indexing News Corp content, but allow Bing to.

Both companies have refused to comment on the rumors and the Financial Times warns that talks are at a very early stage.

Furthermore, the Financial Times reports that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to try and get them to do the same. One of those approached by Microsoft stated that such a move would make content sites all the more valuable if search engines would be prepared to pay to index sites.

It would certainly be quite a power shift; but before any of us little guys get excited, I don’t think such deals would extend to the likes of us :). I couldn’t imagine not being listed in Google or Bing/Yahoo anyway!

This latest escalation has its roots in Mr Murdoch’s accusations of search engines and other sites stealing content from his properties; his threats to turn his online holdings into paid-access sites and also the removal of News Corp owned pages from search engines.

So, let’s say this was to all happen – what would be the ramifications? How much of a hit would News Corp take without all that lovely, free Google traffic? FT’s John Gapper has suggested that rather than Mr Murdoch “not getting” the whole Internet thang, he has looked at the figures and perhaps decided that Google traffic is not worth very much in the big scheme of things.

Interesting times ahead!


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