Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Nov 2009 14:58 UTC
In the News It is no secret that Microsoft is doing whatever it can to eat away at Google's immense market share of the search market, with Bing being its most ambitious effort yet. Well, it seems the battle just got a whole lot dirtier, as The Financial Times has uncovered news that Microsoft has approached several news content providers, offering them money if they "de-index" their sites from Google.
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The Final Outcome
by Praxis on Mon 23rd Nov 2009 19:15 UTC
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After thinking about this a bit I think I understand the eventual goal of Murdock here, well enough to post a guess in comment on a news story anyway. Its clear that the news business wants both subscription size money and advertisers size money. They want to be paid directly every time someone reads their story and sell ads. This has been their business model for ages and they don't want to change. This could be done with a paywall, but paywalls rarely work very well, to my knowledge only the WSJ has managed to make it work, and its niche, business reporting, is very time sensitive and news hungry. So they know paywalls won't work since people will just go to whoever doesn't have a paywall.
So how can they get the advantages of a freely available web page and a paywall. By playing Microsoft and Google against each other. Once they secure a deal with Microsoft, they believe that Google (and any other search engine who wants to compete) will be forced to follow into a similar one. Therefore their desired result brings them right back to square one, except that now both Google and Microsoft are paying them a nice chunk of cash. Neither can drop the contract for fear of giving the other an advantage and are pretty much stuck in a red queen's race, having to pay the News organizations money solely because their competitor is paying the news organizations money. At least thats how Murdock envisions it (maybe).

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