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Murdoch-Microsoft Deal In the Works

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the exploding-cuban-cigar dept.

The Media 468

Hugh Pickens writes "The Financial Times reports that Microsoft is in discussions to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, owner of newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal of the US to The Sun of the UK, to 'de-index' its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry. Microsoft is desperate to catch Google in search, and, after five years and hundreds of millions of dollars of losses, Bing, launched in June, marks its most ambitious attempt yet. Microsoft's interest is being interpreted as a direct assault on Google because it puts pressure on the search engine to start paying for content. 'This is all about Microsoft hurting Google's margins,' said the web publisher who is familiar with the plan. 'It's easy to believe that [Microsoft] may spew senseless riches into publishers' pockets, radically distorting the news market, just to spite Google,' writes Rob Beschizza at BoingBoing. 'Murdoch could be wringing cash out of a market he knows is doomed to implosion or assimilation. And he doesn't even have to be an evil genius, either; he just has to be smarter than Steve Ballmer.'"

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If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200892)

I think Google operates on the "if anyone can see it, it can be indexed" line of thought...

That is, if anyone can find News Corp data on Bing, then Google's web crawlers should be able to as well.

The end result is Google will still index all public content via Bing, and Microsoft will pay out the ass until they wisen up.

Or Microsoft could require viewers to login to Bing, but that would kinda limit the exposure to the material... which is a pretty good thing for mankind when you consider this includes quality "news" outlets like FOX News.

I don't know if there have ever been any legal decisions about the legality of indexing publically available info... I'm guessing this would be the easiest move for Google. Or they might do something very radical that no one expects...

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200934)

The children are right to mock you AC. Google honors robots.txt, if a news outlet doesn't want their site indexed, all they need to do is put a deny rule in it.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201020)

The children are right to mock you AC. Google honors robots.txt, if a news outlet doesn't want their site indexed, all they need to do is put a deny rule in it.

1. So why doesn't Murdoch just put a robots.txt file in his sites? It's because he WANTS them to be indexed ... but he also wants to get $$$ for it.

2. So his sites will appear on bing and not google? Sounds like the quality of google searches just went up.

3. I'm sure the sites that will replace NewsCorp properties in the searches can't believe that Christmas came early.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201026)

I remember reading that what Rupert Murdoch actually wants is headlines to be trawled as currently done, but for actual news items to be paid for. He wants Google to check the story for relevance but not display it; Just a link to the place where you pay for / subscribe to the article.

Needless to say, Google said "It doesn't work like that."

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (1)

Ken D (100098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201148)

Well.. at one time it did work that way. I.e. you click through a Google news result and get a warning that it was a subscription site and would you enter your password or sign up.

But I don't see that much (if at all) any more in my search results, because there's always a free source, and those kinds of results just piss me off.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201184)

I remember reading that what Rupert Murdoch actually wants is headlines to be trawled as currently done, but for actual news items to be paid for.

How is he going to do this when nobody who works for him has actually written a news item themselves (rather than just repeated a press release or copied directly from AP or Reuters) for years?

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (3, Interesting)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201250)

Here in Australia Murdoch prints the trashier newspapers anyway. If you want good news stories, these are not the newspapers to read. They are designed in general to appeal to the less educated with stacks of sex, sensationalism and sport. Quite frankly if they were cut out of google search responses it would make my searches for decent news reports faster and easier. Wherever I go in Australia, I don't read his newspapers anyway (but I'll pinch the cryptic crosswords if anyone else is reading them...)

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201290)

I remember reading that what Rupert Murdoch actually wants is headlines to be trawled as currently done, but for actual news items to be paid for. He wants Google to check the story for relevance but not display it; Just a link to the place where you pay for / subscribe to the article. Needless to say, Google said "It doesn't work like that."

Interesting. Google could simply not index any NewsCorp sites and let MS pour money into Murdoch's pockets till it gets tired and stops. Depending on how long that takes and the success of Bing vs Google to capture market share, News Corp may find that many people no longer think of their papers when looking for news, especially if viable alternatives establish stronger online presences.

Google can check and see what percentages of searches involve News Corp sites, click through rates, etc., an dteh decide on the impact of barNews Corp may be betting Google folds, but Google has pretty good idea of who holds what cards.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201042)

He doesn't want to change robots.txt.
He wants to change laws and get the blessing of governments to fence off the internet and make money out of it. That is why there have been a lot of speeches and a lot of noise and the implication that we are all a pile a leeches.
It may look like an ignorant bull in a china shop but that isn't what is happening. He knows what he's doing, he's just prepared to break all the rules and turn the net into a virtually worthless thing in comparison to what it is now so long as he is making more money out of it that he is now.

no matter the mocking (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201046)

what is the legal status of NOT honoring a robot.txt, at least hypothetically?

or for that matter, simply linking to another website who has told you "don't link to me"

in other words, if someone says don't link to me, and you link to them, is that a matter of illegality or is there a legal basis for someone to sue in civil court? on what grounds?

its a valid question. and certainly one with broad reaching ramifications

Re:no matter the mocking (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201080)

Hey, you've managed to figure out how to use commas. Shit man, that's a massive improvement in the last 10 years, congrats. Now maybe you could figure out how to use full stops and capitalization. Geocities has closed down, ya know.

Re:no matter the mocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201168)

what about people who don't understand that putting a website up on the internet means it's publically visible, like this one: http://www.petstarforums.com/ [petstarforums.com]

" GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WEBSITE YOU LOWLIFE BIT OF PIGSHIT
Your ip has been logged aa.bb.cc.dd"

Re:no matter the mocking (1)

Leynos (172919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201218)

None.

Although there have been civil cases concerning deep linking, common sense has generally prevailed.

That said, Google would lose far more in credibility from disregarding robots.txt than it could possibly stand to gain.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201088)

What good is robots.txt if a site that crawls pages ignoring the rules set is then indexed by google?

I'd be willing to bet that if Fox News had a blanket ban on bots in the robots.txt, putting the opening sentence of a Fox News story into google would still return dozens of news sites that had ripped the first paragraph or two from their site.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201116)

They do. It will be interesting to see, though, if they(and other search outfits) continue to do so.

At present, robots.txt is voluntary. It has no legal force, nor does it present even a trivial technical barrier. Google presumably adheres to it because they don't want to risk the potential consequences of wide anger over not adhering to it. Conceivably, though, Google might decide that getting around a particularly juicy exclusivity deal is worth going around robots.txt.

It is far from certain, and I'm sure that they wouldn't do it if they could avoid it(starting a fight that ends in, say, caselaw to the effect that a publisher's explicit permission is legally required to index even sites made freely accessible to the public, would pretty much ruin google's day); but it is certainly conceivable.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201126)

True, but it's not legally binding. If a search engine war does break out, well, it'll take a lot of hackers and lawyers off the streets.

Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (5, Interesting)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201274)

You know what would be funny? Google should remove all of murdoch's news sites from the index and say "We took the liberty of removing the sites, like you've been publicly talking about". If he wants them back he'll have to publicly ask to be reincluded. That should make his intentions clearer.

It's useless content. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200946)

Most News Corp. content is generally complete shit, to put it nicely.

We're probably all better off if Google doesn't index it. It'll leave the rest of our results less cluttered with turds.

I as an australian apologise for this man (3, Funny)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201102)

This man who turned journalists into the story factories they now are.

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story" - I'm sure that this was a Murdoch quote.

Has obviously decided he is sorry for the hurt he has caused and now wishes to remove all the crap fiction that is vomited out of news corp from the poor (emphasis on poor ) innocent internet users.

I for one want to say thank you Rupert Murdoch.

Re:I as an australian apologise for this man (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201224)

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story" - I'm sure that this was a Murdoch quote.

I'm sure it's been around longer than that, he probably just took it as a life motto.

Well, either that or "Never let a story get in the way of putting big ones on page 3".

Bing vs Google (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200894)

Interesting thing is that this will also limit how much Google can spend on their side products, which are direct competition against Office. About Chrome OS vs. Windows I wouldn't worry so much, as Chrome OS wont run any other programs on the computer than a web browser.

Lots of people always seem to note that this wouldn't hurt Google because if people want news from certain sites they just go to the site directly. But truth is, it's a lot easier to find the news you're looking for from search engine. If you spot theres a news site you think is good quality, then you go to it.

Now if the big news sites suddenly drop from Google but can be found via Bing, people are going to change there. This is even more true with both Bing's and Google's News search [google.com] . Bing is starting to be nicer to use than Google, has nifty features (like providing useful results from Wolfram Alpha, integrating Wikipedia nicely [bing.com] , etc) and the search results quality is on par with Google. Bing is also more stylish than Google for "casual people", but while maintaining Google-like simple interface.

And before someone has to jump on the "but only reason people use Bing is because it's default search engine in IE8!". This is no different tactic to gain users what Google uses too. They pay Firefox, Opera and other browsers and even computer manufacturers like Dell to have Google as the default search engine. But neither party overwrites the previous setting, like many seem to say about IE8 - it doesn't change it if Google is already set there.

Google is even more problematic because of the amount of datamining they do. Their analytics tracking code is everywhere on the internet, with Android and Chrome OS you are always logged-in to your Google account (just to use your phone, wtf?). Both Bing and Google do some hidden datamining on back too (like when you click a link, theres javascript that sends info about what link you clicked on the back). But this is worse with Google, as their complete business model relies around datamining to provide info and services to advertisers.

It's actually interesting how much they have improved their search engine from MSN/Live age. Seems they're going after Google at full force now and it seems to make sense to attack them from every direction now.

Re:Bing vs Google (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200930)

Is MS paying News Corp to get "de-indexed" from Google? Or is it paying to get exclusively indexed from Bing.

If it is latter, it makes sense.
If it is formet, then what is to stop Google from creating a shadow search engine which then "licenses" its index to Google?

Re:Bing vs Google (5, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201038)

Well, if it's the former, Google has its own "Do no evil" thing that they're supposed to abide by.

This whole story irritates me. Microsoft is employing the whole, "If you can't beat them, find some way to leverage your stockpiles of cash to manipulate the market." If Bing really is a better search engine, people will start using it. Let it compete on its merits.

sudo gedit robots.txt (4, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201254)

What? This is the best news to have come in quite a while: One desperate monopoly wasting dollars (after throwing out 5000 employees--think of the wasted karma) to make a desperate company (bleeding money [google.com] ) lose traffic and the users that actually like them. Sudo gedit robots.txt. Insert password, beach! That I want to see. It's the coolest thing to ever happen to Microsoft, Fox News, and MySpace, all at once. I for one hope it goes through and, for the sake of world peace, I hope Google never mentions Tortious Interference [wikipedia.org] and let us have some well deserved popcorn.

If anything, this one is a killer deal!

Re:Bing vs Google (1)

danskal (878841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201282)

I'm amazed that americans aren't up in arms - isn't USA built on the principles of the free market - supply and demand - beating the competition by producing better products and/or delivering them to the market more effectively?

This sounds like corruption, nothing else. Paying customers to stay away from the competition? Are you kidding me? This is why I try to boycott Microsoft every time I can.

Re:Bing vs Google (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201118)

Microsoft is going to kill Google the way they killed Netscape. The only difference is that last decade they were able to cheat, by giving-away their browser free-of-charge whereas Netscape didn't have that option (they had to charge $30 or else have no income). It will be interesting to see what Microsoft does to beat Google.

On the other hand they might fail. They tried to beat the Sony PS2 - failed. Then they tried to beat the PS3, which they succeeded in doing but now they're getting trounced by the Wii. Maybe with the Xbox 3 they'll finally beat both Sony and Nintendo.

Re:Bing vs Google (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200952)

What you're overlooking is that in the past, Microsoft has had very little regard for fairness in business or for their customers.

I agree that Google's click tracking is annoying, and they certainly are datawhores... but so far I haven't seen any evidence that they're using this data irresponsibly.

So far, I trust Google with my data over Microsoft... and they'll have to work really hard to overcome that stigma

Capitalism only works when everyone plays by the rules -- Monopolies break the rules

Re:Bing vs Google (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200956)

Now if the big news sites suddenly drop from Google but can be found via Bing, people are going to change there.

The interesting question is: Are people going to change search engine - or news site?

Since most news sites these days essentially publish press releases and agency reports verbatim, there isn't much difference between them anyways. I'm pretty sure a lot of people wouldn't even notice. My vote is that they'll stay with the search engine and just read the same news story at a different news site.

Re:Bing vs Google (5, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201138)

I personally have no interest in Murdoch's news sites and I would pay to have an index that excluded all of his publications. They are either sensationalist trash or blatantly biased news sources.

Re:Bing vs Google (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201296)

That's funny. I'm the type of person that *looks* for alternative sources like FOX, CBN, al-Jezeera, Russia Today, and so on. They provide information that the CNNs and DNCNBCs of the world do not. I find it odd that you'd want to self-limit yourself to only seeing one side.

Re:Bing vs Google (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200964)

I think you've made an error here:

But truth is, it's a lot easier to find the news you're looking for from search engine. If you spot theres a news site you think is good quality, then you go to it. Now if the big news sites suddenly drop from Google but can be found via Bing, people are going to change there.

Current search engine users are almost exclusively Google users. If people almost exclusively get their news by searching, they have no site loyalty and almost exclusively get their news from whatever sites Google sends them, and therefore when the news sites drop off Google, they will stop visiting those sites. The people who visit the news sites directly or by syndication will not even notice the transition.

Only the subset of users who are loyal to a news site, and only reach it via Google searches, and who figure out why they can't find it on Google any more, will switch to Bing.

Re:Bing vs Google (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201002)

(Unless, of course, News Corp's sites represent such a significant amount of good news content that their loss makes Google's results poorer. I don't think that's the case.)

Re:Bing vs Google (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201248)

Ya know, this free ride can't last forever. Somebody has to pay all those reporters to collect and publish the articles we read, and the advertisers are not doing (they are trying to reduce costs). So that leaves us or the search engines.

Of course if you wanted to argue there are too many reporters, and about 75% of them should be laid-off to streamline the industry, I could agree with that. No bailouts - let the market sort itself out

Re:Bing vs Google (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201000)

I disagree with the premise that people who use Google for their news will in any way change how they view the news just because one or two, or many sites start to remove themselves.

If the change is gradual enough, other companies will notice the extra traffic and welcome it.

Re:Bing vs Google (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201132)

Exactly! Google is too big to "hurt" with this nonsense. Other newspapers will benefit from the absence of News Corp. On the flip side, News Corp papers will suffer from the loss of traffic Google drove to their sites. In the end old Rupert does nothing but gives his competitors more business and takes away traffic and ad revenue from his own sites.

Re:Bing vs Google (5, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201032)

As long as Bing keeps sorting the results based on the website's popularity rather than the page's relevance I don't see myself ever using Bing.

Re:Bing vs Google (2, Insightful)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201262)

Popularity over relevance is the basis for government.
Are you some kind of anarchist?

Re:Bing vs Google (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201072)

Now if the big news sites suddenly drop from Google but can be found via Bing, people are going to change there.

I honestly don't think most users will notice if Fox, Sky and the Times are deindexed from Google News. If anything, they'll probably remark that the overall quality of results has improved.

The principal question is this: Why is a big newspaper a big newspaper?

I don't get it (1, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201300)

Now if the big news sites suddenly drop from Google but can be found via Bing, people are going to change there

I don't understand how news sites are going to drop from Google. I guess I need to RTFA? It's a public internet; unless Murdoch's sites are encrypted there's no way, legal or technological, to keep Google from indexing them unless Googles wants to stop indexing them.

Plus, I don't know how many news outlets Murdoch ("Morlock?) owns, but guess what? Nobody needs Murdoch or his newspapers. Personally, I dislike the man's ideas and politics and the slant he puts in the news. I, for one, would welcome Murdoch sites not being listed on Google -- if it could happen, which I don't believe it can.

Is the Financial Times a Murdoch paper?

This Really Simplifies My Life! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200900)

Murdoch-Microsoft Deal In the Works

Thank you! Finally some good news. These hatred consolidation programs cut my insane ranting down significantly and gives me more time to appreciate the finer things in life like making intricate tinfoil feathers to put into my tinfoil pimp hats. I applaud Murdoch & Ballmer for finally thinking of people like me. But it may be too little too late, ever since the government subsidized hatred and what with the sub-prime hatred rate financial crisis, I've been forced to cut down on hating as much as forty or fifty percent. Tough times we live in. Tough times.

Re:This Really Simplifies My Life! (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201054)


No. Microsoft are historically evil, but haven't actually been too bad lately. Murdoch's empire has not only been a hundredfold more damaging to us all than MS ever has, but is ramping up to be even worse for us all than it has been yet. In the UK, they're cutting deals with the Conservatives to give them the support of the major newspapers they own, they're poisoning the very notion of investigative journalism and they rarely pay taxes worth a damn. And now they're trying to gain control of what we find on the web. No Microsoft - stay mildly evil!

Evil genius (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200922)

'Murdoch could be wringing cash out of a market he knows is doomed to implosion or assimilation. And he doesn't even have to be an evil genius, either: he just has to be smarter than Steve Ballmer.'

Which is just as well because I've never heard anyone accuse Murdoch of being more than half way towards being an evil genius.

say and do (5, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200926)

I'm pretty sure that Murdoch will hate M$ for this step. No, I'm serious.

He's in the publishing industry. In other words: Perception and stories are his trade. The whole "Google is stealing from us" angle is an excellent story and contains a number of great opportunities to profit (from the government if you threaten loss of jobs, from Google if you threaten lawsuits, etc.) - but what M$ is doing is essentially calling his bluff.

Now he'll either have to go along with it, and de-index his sites, which will result in page views coming down crashing, or have everyone and his dog dig out the old stories and say "wasn't so bad after all, was it, old liar?".

He's probably already busy trying to find a way out without loss of face.

Re:say and do (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200986)

Wow, you assign him so much credit. Do you think he actually has any technical people in his inner circle who dare tell him he's acting like a buffoon?

No, I expect this will go down the stupid possible way it can. Microsoft will pay to index Murdoch's sites (idiots) and Google will kindly decline and happily deindex the site, as is their policy. What's incredibly funny is that all of Murdoch's sites are full of crap, so the overall quality of Google's news service will immediately go up.

Re:say and do (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201066)

Actually, WSJ is pretty good, but most of it is behind a paywall and isn't getting properly indexed anyway.

Re:say and do (2, Funny)

TDyl (862130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201176)

I see the new movie now: "How To Ruin Almost Anything" starring Rupert Murdoch as Kim Jong-Il; the Newscorp IT department as 'the Politburo' and Steve Ballmer as, well, Steve Ballmer.

Re:say and do (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201220)

Wow, you assign him so much credit. Do you think he actually has any technical people in his inner circle who dare tell him he's acting like a buffoon?

Now that really shows you have no clue - for his entire long life he's been surrounded by technical people in his inner circle that have told him when to backtrack away from a bad idea. Ask the English press if he's a dinosaur that never considers technical issues and has no experts to advise him and they will laugh at you and mention Wapping. He's an evil old bastard but he's not a stupid old bastard and he's had a chunk of online commerce only a couple of years after Microsoft noticed that there was an internet out there.
I'm not sure if he even cares much about what Microsoft or Google do - I think Google is the strawman used in all the noise he's raising to get the attention of governments to change the internet into something he can more easily make money out of. Of course it's all overblown bullshit that he is spouting, but he's made millions that way by spouting lies and carving up the corpses of the companies of those that fell for them.

Let me get this right (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200938)

Fox wants to pull out of the news business? And we're supposed to complain?

I don't thinks this means what he thinks it means.

Re:Let me get this right (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201004)

Exactly - and I'm surprised there isn't a "andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag on this already. Murdoch and The Sun may be pulling out of Google's search index? Not that I've ever encountered any of their pages on their search*, but surely it is a good thing if Google is tidied up a bit?

* I can't think of time I ever felt the inclination to search "ugly fake women" or "skanky townie tarts" or "sensationalised news for builders"

This is a good thing (4, Insightful)

smartin (942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200942)

I don't personally see any down side of having all of Murdoch's content removed from my searches. If I want news, I want the real deal, not the Faux News spin on it.
Also I can't imagine two entities that deserve each other more, it's a marriage made in hell.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201204)

News corporation isn't just fox, I also won't be missing:
The Sun (there are plenty of better places to see tits on the internet)
The News of the World (see above)
thelondonpaper (free celebrity stalker that pretends to contain news)
The Times (london), actually has some content but now other equally good/better sources will replace it in rankings
and while WSJ is reputable, don't they already use a paywall?

Hmm (3, Insightful)

headhot (137860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200954)

If I were google, I would let MS have News Corp. The average internet user is not going to even know about the missing content to drive them to switch to bing, and the savvy users could not give a shit about News Corp and MS.

Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200960)

If Murdoch's poisonous right wing tat is removed from Google, at least it is improving the filtering of results by removing nonsense that I definitely wouldn't want to read.
We're all winners is this happens!

What Murdoch doesn't realize... (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200966)

He can't legally win in the US against bloggers who use fair use excerpts of his companies' stories. There is too much precedent there. As long as bloggers comply with the law, he's screwed. The only ones he can nab are the ones who excerpt half of a story, provide one or two sentences of commentary and that's it. What this means is that his stories won't be indexed in Google, but the bloggers who link to them will be indexed. So really, it's a two-fer against Murdoch. If he were smart, what he'd be doing is putting EVERYTHING they've done online since the founding of his companies, and be encouraging everyone to link to their work, talk about it, excerpt it, etc. so that News Corp would become the most powerful news source in Google's index.

Re:What Murdoch doesn't realize... (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201092)

All that noise and emotive bullshit he is piling on is to get the laws changed. If he just wanted to stop google indexing things that would have been done long ago.
He is painting most of the internet as a denizen of petty criminals depriving people of jobs and will continue with that until it gains political traction, then he will make money out of the result if he can. If he can't he really won't care if key portions of the internet are effectively broken.

Re:What Murdoch doesn't realize... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201136)

He's not going after the bloggers, he's going after news aggregators who automatically rip the opening paragraph or two from every story on the site. That's far more of a grey area than just quoting Fox in the middle of an article or editorial.

Paying someone to disadvantage another? (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200970)

I can't but help to think that this is illegal behavior somehow. I also can't help but think that this proposed move has already been cleared by Microsoft's legal department.

In my mind, there is "competition" and there is the game of "dirty tricks." In competition, competitors simply do the best they can and operate under the idea of "may the best man win." In the game of dirty tricks, competitors do their best to slow, stop or even kill the competition. I can't say for sure which color hat Google is wearing presently, but Microsoft most definitely subscribes to latter behavior rather than the former.

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201034)

So what you're saying is that fair competition isn't the American way of doing business.

Or you've been living under a rock..

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201106)

Yeah dude, this isn't exactly what you call "fair competition". Its called anti-competitive behavior, and microsoft has already been raped in the courts for this trick before.

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201200)

Yeah - like Google using it's large adwords revenue to subsidize android phones (trying to control phone OS). And paying for digitizing of books (trying to control the book markets). And funding Google Chrome OS (trying to enter the OS market). They are using their dominance in ads to pay for entering many other markets at a loss. All it will take is a court ruling claiming their control of searches and ads is a monopoly, and all these other actions will have been illegal.

They will one day face anti-trust action on all this, and this is exactly what got MS in trouble: using revenue from one monoply to fund entry into other markets.

So before you cry "fair competition" be sure you understand how it works. Yes MS has been raped. Google will be unless they lobby better than those lobbying against them on precisely this.

That will be funny and ironic when they lose :)

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201044)

This is what I was thinking... this sounds like straight up anti-competitive / antitrust behavior. Totally expected coming from Microsoft.

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201050)

In my mind, there is "competition" and there are US corporations

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201094)

Legally, MS has passed the sanction period from their anti-trust settlement. It expired Nov 12, 2009. Ballmer and the legal team might be testing whether the Obama administration may be as lenient as the Bush administration (or may be too busy to intervene). Really for every move MS does to show they aren't the old MS (like releasing a tool under the GPL), they counter it with a move to show they haven't changed. This move does nothing to enhance their product but hurt a competitor's product.

Re:Paying someone to disadvantage another? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201216)

"I can't but help to think that this is illegal behavior somehow. "

Of course. Everything MS does to compete is illegal on Slashdot.

People won't know and won't care (3, Insightful)

mhkohne (3854) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200972)

No one is going to switch search tools because some particular newspaper is in Bing's index and not Google's. If Bing wants to get the traffic, all they have to do is return better results. Buying exclusive access to index the WSJ isn't going to help, because anyone who actually cares about what the WSJ has to say specifically will just go to the WSJ site, not to Bing.

This would be a waste of MS money, and would hurt the WSJ by having them be found less often (Bing isn't yet as popular as Google, as I understand things), thus getting them less hits and less notice. Unless Murdoch doesn't care about the WSJ's future, this is overall likely a bad move for him.

If Bing wants the traffic, they have to return better results. Eventually, that will translate into users, but it's not a quick thing.

This would be a stupid move on Microsoft's part, and probably a bad plan on Murdoch's part. That doesn't mean they won't go forward, but it's a dumb idea all around.

Re:People won't know and won't care (1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201086)

I completely agree - I don't see how this will result in anything but fewer hits on Murdoch's sites. When I use google news I rarely look for a particular news source in the results, though I do look to see where I am clicking. As far as I know/care I have never clicked on a Murdoch news source anyway.

In a similar move... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200974)

In a similar move, the train manufacturers asked the electricity companies to abruptly change the voltage delivered to the tracks, so that the train companies can only buy their trains.

SUV manufacturers asked the road workers to build a 30 cm high bump along the center of all the lanes - so that consumers must buy an SUV to drive on the roads.

I'd almost call this sabotage...

And whatever this does - every penny spent on it should NEVER count as economic growth. From a consumer's point of view, this is wasted money. Instead of improving a service, they try to destroy one.

Missing the point (5, Insightful)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200976)

Murdoch seems to think that people use Google to search Murdoch's sites.

By Murdoch's logic, clearly if he withdraws his sites from Google, people will stop using Google to search his sites. But hardly anyone using Google has the intention of "searching his sites". People just want information--most people don't care which site has the information as long as it's good information. If Murdoch pulls out of Google that just means fewer people will visit Murdoch's sites. Nobody is going to give a toss about the fact that Fox won't show up on Google. This entire strategy suggests that Murdoch misunderstands his own readers.

Re:Missing the point (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201212)

It is entirely possible that Murdoch does, in fact, have the technical competence of a baked potato animated by pure malice. In which case, your assessment is likely correct.

However, it isn't necessarily a safe assumption. If Murdoch wants to know where his traffic comes from, his tech minions have the HTTP referrer logs. That'll tell them(to within a modest margin of error, along with a possibly significant "well, they came from such-and-such blog; but did they get to that blog directly, or from Google, or from Bing, or from Uncle Henry's teabagger chain email?" issue). Unless Murdoch is a monumental idiot, he'll presumably have a reasonable understanding of where traffic is coming from(even if his underlings have had to couch it in terms of "circulation" or "neilson ratings" or something to get through to him. He is an old media guy; but old media also understood the theory that knowing your readers was useful, even if they didn't always have to bother).

No, he understands them (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201228)

The people who "read" his papers (some English readers may remember the joke in Porridge) do so to have their prejudices confirmed, not to find things out. Murdoch is trying to keep his readers happy by showing them that people are prepared to pay to have his views presented to them, thus providing additional prejudice confirmation. If other people are prepared to spend money to find out that Palin or Bach are wonderful and not at all dysfunctional in any way whatever, and that Obama is a racist and the Anti-Christ, then holding these views clearly has value. It's like the people who think that the Daily Telegraph is a reliable newspaper because it's still printed in big, impressive broadsheet format, and not all because the Barclay brothers don't think paper has a future and don't want to invest in new presses.

Not really an issue .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200978)

Well, not really an issue. I'd actually PREFER that "news items" from newscorp (e.g., FOX News, etc.) be filtered out of any news search I do anyway ... as these folks aren't actually news organizations.

My enemies' frenemy is my frenemy (2, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200994)

Google on one side.
Microsoft and Murdoch on the other.
Gee... I wonder who the public will side with?

Sure, Microsoft once beat Mozilla who was burning up cash, but that memory will loom large with Google who has bucketloads of cash and more importantly: smarter people that those old dinosaurs. Microsoft these days is a poor imitator. News Corp is irrelevant unless you like spoonfed opinionated news. My money is on Google.

Re:My enemies' frenemy is my frenemy (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201192)

News Corp is irrelevant unless you like spoonfed opinionated news.

Have you looked at the ratings lately? I believe the only things beating Fox are the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

Re:My enemies' frenemy is my frenemy (2, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201242)

Microsoft and Murdoch is who they will side with, of course. Look at which OS is on 90% of desktops, look at whose papers/"news" shows are most watched.

Thank you, Mr. Murdoch (2, Insightful)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201052)

Now I don't have to append -site:fox.com to my search results to filter out the lies. Thank you for going to all this trouble.

his last mistake? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201076)

It seems a bit presumtuous to declare a successful multibillionaire is making a fatal mistake, especially seeing as I'm just a multithousandaire. That being said, history is replete with examples of people, organizations, and empires that gained enormous success in a given environment but were unsuited to adapting to changes in that environment.

Murdoch seems to want to turn back the clock, put the toothpaste back in the tube. I don't think this is possible. The Internet is a highly disruptive technology and if it wasn't Google then some other company would be playing the same role.

Of course, just ten years back we had starry-eyed boffins chortling over how the internet meant all brick and mortar retail was dead, nobody would go shopping anymore, etc. They kind of missed the boat on that one. Internet retail is just a very fancy form of mail-order. The internet might kill certain categories of store (used record shops, new record shops, and digital delivery promises to render blockbuster and gamestop obsolete though it's far too early to declare a time of death) but grocery stores aren't going anywhere. Used bookstores will still get foot traffic for the near future and things like the amazon zshop allows those independents to sell nationwide.

I think Murdoch is trying to hold back the incoming tide on this one.

Who cares, (1)

Paradigma11 (645246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201082)

there is not a lot of original news reporting done anyway. Most reporters just copy the stories from somewhere. Any original investigative reporting done by News Corp will be exclusive till the next reporter rewrites the story the other day.
Oh well, good riddance.

Shooting what? (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201084)

"Rupert Murdoch is pointing a gun to Google's head, and Microsoft is helping him pull back the trigger."

Oh old Rupert, is it really Google's head, or did you write G O O G L E on your toes? (Yeah that's right, Rupert Murdoch has 6 toes on each foot, you heard it here first!)

The Sun is a comic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201100)

I buy it on a Saturday for a bit of a laugh at Clarkson and the TV guide. I've never visited the Sun website, nor would I. I don't know what this Wall Street Journal of his is like but I can't think of much reason to Google that either. Would I miss stories that appear in my unrelated google searches, um no I wouldn't, so go on Mr. Murdoch, take your tat out of my search results, see if I, or anyone else, really cares.

is it a calculated tantrum or a real tantrum? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201108)

is the potentate actually cracking under the pressure of a shrinking media empire?

or is he crazy like a fox (pun intended), and shaking the cage in a calculated way, to make some tangentially related issue fall off its perch in such a way that it aids him subtly, indirectly. something that makes the contrived brouhaha worth the effort?

i don't know what that fallen thing would be: a rearranged legal landscape, an altered business environment, a share price somewhere... who knows

If you are defined by your enemies... (3, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201120)

...this is prima facie evidence that Google's "Don't be evil" policy is working very, very well.

Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

jht (5006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201122)

Poor Fox - they think their content is important enough to change the behavior of the entire web surfing public. Newsflash - it's not.

I wonder if Rupert Murdoch has ever used Google for anything. When I do a Google News search, I get the beginnings of articles that link right to the newspaper site to read them. All I get from Google is an aggregation showing me what articles are available on a topic. Even if you put the content itself behind a paywall (the last great idea that didn't pan out for the news industry) I'd still just see that teaser paragraph. I still don't understand where the "theft" thing comes from.

Now if the entire news industry rose up in unison to lock out search engines it might have a small impact on the habits of users, but as long as there are some holdouts and/or wire feeds online one or two providers dropping out will have no real impact.

Except for Fox's losing some eyeballs as a result of this I don't see how it works out for anyone. Sure, they get some money that Microsoft is willing to waste, but still - the loss of eyeballs will drive their ad rates down and it'll all probably wash out.

Who Cares???? (1)

Syntroxis (564739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201128)

Who, in their right mind, would want to read anything Rupert Murdoch publishes?? IMHO, the world would be a far better place if Rupert wasn't in the nuz business.

maybe he's hoping for a streisand effect (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201162)

or reverse psychology:

"no, you can't see fox news. i forbid you to read fox news! i am preventing you google from indexing fox news"

(everyone clicks to fox news to see what the big deal is)

What content? (2, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201208)

Making Google pay for "content" is like charging the guy on the corner you ask directions from ten bucks.

see Murdochs contribution to the culture (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30201210)

Page Three [wikipedia.org] ..

Someone tripped over their own mind. (3, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201214)

There sure is some strange logic in this deal, especially from the news moguls. 99,9% of all searches regarding news or a topic is about getting information about it regardless of the source.

When someone do a search for something, the quality of the pages is the interesting part, not where those pages resides. If its pointing to a blogger, Wikipedia or a newspaper is totally irrelevant just as long as the information is correct. By removing their own content the newspapers are only encouraging bloggers and the like.

I cant see people jumping ship towards Bing to get better results. Its much more likely people will be put off when any search on Bing leads to a paying newspaper instead of to that blog you want to find.

They *still* don't get it? (2, Insightful)

swsuehr (612400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201236)

Microsoft seems to have a long history of not understanding the Internet. Witness them being very late to the party with Internet Explorer, and then not being smart enough to figure out that they should set a default home page to their sites with early versions of IE. And then the various attempts at lock-in and biased search results over the years.

I can't help but think this is yet another example of Microsoft attempting to make the Internet into something that they want it to be, something that benefits only them, rather than something that benefits society as a whole. People won't change their habits so easily, they'll just use whatever sites come up in Google. This will be a boon to those sites that remain in the Google index.

Deindex MSNBC? (3, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201276)

If Microsoft is serious about this, why haven't they "deindexed" MSNBC from Google? The internet would be a better place if that site disappeared anyway..

STUPID move (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201288)

If it goes through Murdock is an idiot.

1. Google could litigate this for YEARS after an injunction

2. I wonder if the advertisers on those sites will mind if the number of eyeballs looking at their ads as a result of being on a search engine that currently has a MUCH smaller market share? My guess it that they will demand to pay LESS.

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