More developments in the Rupert Murdoch vs. Google saga today, as the Financial Times reports that discussions have taken place between News Corp and Microsoft on an exclusive deal with Bing that would lead to News Corp blocking its news sites (such as The Wall Street Journal) from Google.
I’d actually like to see this happen…it would make for an interesting case study demonstrating that the only one hurt by such a deal is News Corp itself. It would also be interesting to see how Microsoft addresses the financial realities of trying to extend such an arrangement to a larger group of publishers.
Believe it or not, being indexed in Google and Google News is actually good for news sites.
Danny Sullivan has been covering the SEO aspects of this story in depth – these posts provide an overview of the key points better than I could summarize here:
- Thoughts On A “Killer” Bing-News Corp Deal & The Myth Of An “OPEC For News”
- If Newspapers Were Stores, Would Visitors Be “Worthless” Then?
- Why An Exclusive Wall Street Journal (or News Corp) Deal Wouldn’t Help Bing
Jeff Jarvis also has some good thoughts on the topic:
And Bill Tancer from Hitwise has pulled data showing just how important search engine referral traffic is to The Wall Street Journal and newspapers in general: