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Murdoch: I will block Google
And challenge 'Fair Use' principles, thinks headline/snippet use is illegal
Syzygy




msg:4021858
 8:01 pm on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

From the BBC [news.bbc.co.uk]

The billionaire told Sky News Australia he will explore ways to remove stories from Google's search indexes, including Google News.
Mr Murdoch's News Corp had previously said it would start charging online customers across all its websites.

He believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results.

"There's a doctrine called 'fair use', which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether," Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. "But we'll take that slowly."

Ok, so we all know that he could simply prevent indexing, but I'm sure he's aware of that too. Seems the wily old fox wants to go much further than just that and seeks change the entire landscape of the web by making it illegal for anyone and anything to use text from copyrighted stories as search result snippets.

The ramifications are huge. How very, very interesting...

Syzygy

 

davelms




msg:4024932
 4:53 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

if he blocked Google he would be removed from conventional organic serps.

Are you suggesting that Google are not being truthful when they write on their Google News help pages:

"This [removing your site from Google News] won't remove your site from our Web Search results."

Edit - My opinion is that Murdoch could remove his sites from Google News straight away - if he really wanted to - by following the documented procedures that have been put in place for this very purposes. And without impacting on any placement in the organic serps.

signor_john




msg:4024945
 5:29 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

So I am not worried about Murdoch & Co at all - they can close or open or do whatever they want. What scares me is the world in which there'll be no Newscorp, no NYT, no WSJ, no Guardian, no nothing - only Google News, rehashing (at that point) only blogs and whatever comes after blogs and probably selling ads just the same (eyeballs are eyeballs!)

Have you actually looked at Google News lately? I'll bet Guardian.co.uk is getting more traffic in the Google News era than it ever did when people had to type "Guardian.co.uk" into their browser address bars to find a Guardian story online. And NYTimes.com has something like 16.5 million unique visitors per month--thanks in part to links from Google News.

What Google News (and other search engines) do is level the playing field so that other worthwhile news sources, not just the ones owned by conglomerates like News Corp., get mindshare and traffic share. As I write this, the Google News home page is showing links to major newspaper, magazine, and wire-service sites, but it's also showing links to smaller newspapers in the U.S., Britain, and around the world, along with links to publications like Scientific American that the average person would never see otherwise. That's good for the smaller or more esoteric publications, and it's also good for readers who are being exposed every day to a wider range of high-quality news sources than they were when their choices were dictated by the companies that dominated their local media markets.

davelms




msg:4024949
 5:58 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

As I re-read the discussion, three thoughts came to mind:

1. Does Google News need the real estate of Murdoch? i.e. is it in the position where Google could take his sites off Google News tomorrow.
2. Does Google News obtain any uplift in value by association to the name of the publications it aggregates ... and thus could it lose said value if Murdoch pulled out? i.e. if there was no publication X, Y or Z would Google News suffer a reduction in users as a direct result or don't the users really mind who gives them their news so long as somebody does.
3. And would Google News lose any content altogether, or would it still get the same news articles through other willing partners? i.e. is there a significant number of stories/articles/opinion only available through the Murdoch estate?

They were just some things that were crossing my mind as I read back over everyone's comments.

loudspeaker




msg:4024958
 6:19 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

What Google News (and other search engines) do is level the playing field so that other worthwhile news sources, not just the ones owned by conglomerates like News Corp., get mindshare and traffic share.

Here's how I read your response: When 20 conglomerates collectively control access to information, it's bad. They are very bad conglomerates. When only one company has this control, however, it is so much better (and simpler!) - because it's intrinsically so much more benign.

What can I say? I don't share your enthusiasm. I'd rather there be 20 of something (aggregators, companies, etc).

mack




msg:4024960
 6:20 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you suggesting that Google are not being truthful when they write on their Google News help pages:

Not at all. I am suggesting that taking this course of action would give fuel to Google's opt out policy.

Mack.

davelms




msg:4024965
 6:31 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can certainly accept that viewpoint. I think that point is valid and comes down to the often discussed opt in / opt out that appears on here every so often. But it was "he would be removed from conventional organic serps" that I was quoting and asking you about. Had you written the above consequence about fuelling opt out, I'd have kept quiet because I agree; but you didn't - you wrote that he would "be removed from conventional organic serps" and that is what I don't think is true from what is written on the Google News help page. Anyway...

mack




msg:4024977
 6:45 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

@davelms

Understood :) My view is that it would give fuel to the opt out aspect, But if refering to blocking Google entirely then I think having to delist your web property from Google simply not to have your content scraped for the news service is going to far.

A news site is a website, so should appear in conventional serps, but Google news takes this to far.

Mack.

londrum




msg:4024978
 6:48 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

why should he opt out? he wants the traffic. he just wants google to stick with headlines and snippets that don't keep the users from visiting the site.

you don't take the football away when someone fouls you, do you? which is what you are saying they should do. what you do is blow the whistle and try and get them to play by the rules.

and before someone says "he can't have his cake and eat it", google NEEDS the papers to keep their stuff in the index. they need them to stay in the game. otherwise google would be totally devoid of content. if anyone is doing anyone any favours, its the papers. not only do they give up their daily content for free (because google needs to take every story, every day, even if they don't actually appear -- so their algo can gauge the popularity of each story), but they also provide them with the means to make money. they are the building blocks of google's business. and all that they get in return is some traffic, which might result in nothing at all. ...and even then, that only applies to the four-or-so links that appear underneath the story. the other few thousand papers behind the little link don't even get that.

google is trying to pass off this "traffic" as if its some glittering golden prize that only they can dish out, like some giant in the sky chucking coins down below.

"don't anger the giant, folks, or the coins will disappear."
that is what they are threatening us with.

people are starting to wake up, i reckon, and realise that this amazing google traffic isn't inherent on google at all. it's not something that they create. the world's web traffic wouldn't suddenly dry up if google shut down for a day. people would carry on doing exactly the same number of searches, but through other engines instead.

but the content, on the other hand, IS reliant on the papers. because they actually create it. if the papers shut down for a day then the content wouldn't exist.

google are a bit like the money men on the stock markets -- gordon gecko. they don't create anything at all. they just play around with other people's hard graft and stuff up their wallets on it.

signor_john




msg:4025004
 7:52 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

why should he opt out? he wants the traffic. he just wants google to stick with headlines and snippets that don't keep the users from visiting the site.

Like what? "Yankees play Red Sox" instead of "Yankees "eat Red Sox," or "New President Elected" instead of "Obama Wins Presidency"?

At any given moment, some people who see a Google News headline and click through to the whole story, while some won't--just as some people walking past a newsstand will see a tabloid headline and buy the paper, while some will just think "A guy got murdered in the subway? That's too bad" and walk on by.

Most publishers obviously feel that the benefits of having their stories available on Google News outweigh any disadvantages. Rupert Murdoch is among them, if we accept the adage that "actions speak louder than words."

IanCP




msg:4025017
 8:19 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm with signor_john here. There appears to be an assumption throughout the discussion that News Ltd is the only source on Google News.

It may well be that on any given story of the moment there might be 100's of newspapers with the story, especially if it's breaking news from an official press release.

Murdoch's stable might only figure in 100th position on Google News on that story. Anyone aware of other news outlets similarly complaining?

Most publishers obviously feel that the benefits of having their stories available on Google News outweigh any disadvantages

Eggzactly. Murdoch won't win this argument. I don't know if he harbours the fantasy that his outlets are the sole source of exclusive news.

There are a hell of a lot of other online newspapers perfectly happy to see him disappear.

In any event were forgetting the main point. Is his mooted model of pay-per-view or subscription viable?

Excepting WSJ I'd say a resounding NO!

londrum




msg:4025020
 8:32 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

google are getting a bit close to the edge when stories like this blow up.

like everyone says, google create nothing. they don't even create the traffic -- it's already there. all they do is channel it. that is pretty much all they do.

if they disappeared tonight, who is to say our traffic would suffer? i mean, really, would it even drop at all? people would just use other engines. the world wouldn't suddenly stop surfing the net because google.com has gone down.

when stories like this blow up people begin to realise that google is really just a big traffic-channeller -- and they seem to be channelling more and more of it in their own direction.

and as a result people like murdoch threaten to pull their content -- because they don't feel that they're getting a decent return on their 'investment' of handing over their content everyday.

murdoch is pulling a brick out the bottom of google's wall here. when google can't get access to murdoch's content, then their own content will inevitably suffer (because it's the same). and they'll get less visitors and start sending less traffic. and then people will start to wonder about the silliness of giving up their expensively-produced content to a traffic channeller that doesn't pump the goods.

this is a bigger deal for google than murdoch, with potentially worse results. if murdoch can get more people to jump on his float then google will have to come up with some kind of a deal to keep them sweet.

IanCP




msg:4025053
 10:13 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

like everyone says, google create nothing. they don't even create the traffic -- it's already there. all they do is channel it. that is pretty much all they do

I most certainly don't know about "everyone", a percentage perhaps. So would we be better off without Google? I most certainly would not.

Since 2000, Google have consistently proven they do it better. I can put in "obscure esoteric phrases" I embed in some of my pages into other SE's, Bing for example and, get zero results. I can put the exact same phrase into Google and Bingo!

Google simply does it much better. People trust Google to deliver the results they want, that's why they're the 600lb Gorilla in the room.

No one can say Google enjoys an unfair monopoly. There is absolutely nothing [excepting resources] stopping anyone from competing with Google.

if they disappeared tonight, who is to say our traffic would suffer? i mean, really, would it even drop at all?

Personally? Probably. Using a few the phrases people coming to my sites I find Bing results in nothing or next to nothing including sites not relevant to the genre.

when stories like this blow up people begin to realise that google is really just a big traffic-channeller -- and they seem to be channelling more and more of it in their own direction

Of course, that's the whole point, traffic-channelling! But, I see absolutely no evidence of Google "channelling more and more of it in their own direction". When did Google enter the content network? When did they become in competition with me or yourself?

and as a result people like murdoch threaten to pull their content -- because they don't feel that they're getting a decent return on their 'investment' of handing over their content everyday

Replaced by what or whom? Bing or anyone else? Whoever else is going to devote vast resources without advertising revenue? No one is handing their content over to Google. If anyone believes that is the Google concept and finds it unacceptable then opt out.

this is a bigger deal for google than murdoch, with potentially worse results. if murdoch can get more people to jump on his float then google will have to come up with some kind of a deal to keep them sweet

In the overall scheme of things Murdoch isn't even a gnat to Google.

In an idealised world, how would you imagine things being run? I believe this thread is more of a Google bashing exercise for some. What model would you replace Google with? Word of mouth?

signor_john




msg:4025075
 12:17 am on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

and as a result people like murdoch threaten to pull their content -- because they don't feel that they're getting a decent return on their 'investment' of handing over their content everyday

Google could just as well feel that it isn't getting a decent return of handing over referral traffic every day, but that's beside the point. The problem for Rupert Murdoch is that drive-by news traffic generates very little revenue for anyone--whether it's the referrer (Google News) or the recipient (Mr. Murdoch's news properties). Newspapers' online ad CPMs are terrible, in part because the person who arrives at NYPost.com from Google News--or even by typing NYPost.com into a browser address bar--is just as likely to be a celebrity-gossip fan in Iowa or someone learning English in Bulgaria as a job-seeker in Brooklyn or a department-store shopper in Queens.

If Mr. Murdoch succeeds with his "pay for content" approach, he won't need low-value traffic from Google News and other aggregators. He won't even want that traffic, because he'll be trying to replicate what he had in the heyday of print newspapers: clearly-defined audiences of paying readers (such as "New Yorkers who can afford to pay for a daily newspaper" or "well-heeled investors and corporate executives who are willing to pay a premium price for financial and business news").

In a nutshell: When Mr. Murodoch says he wants to "block Google" as soon as he figures out a way to make users pay for content, it isn't because he wants to protect his intellectual property--it's because he wants to improve the quality and value of his audience to advertisers.

willybfriendly




msg:4025078
 12:22 am on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

No one can say Google enjoys an unfair monopoly... Using a few the phrases people coming to my sites I find Bing results in nothing or next to nothing including sites not relevant to the genre...If anyone believes that is the Google concept and finds it unacceptable then opt out...

Just to be sure I understand, in paraphrase - "Even though Google is the only source of relevant traffic I receive, they don't have a monopoly, and I feel totally free to opt out at any time."

Have I got that right?

Whoever else is going to devote vast resources without advertising revenue? What model would you replace Google with?

I can think of business models using Google's vast data resources regarding Internet traffic and user behavior (not to mention individual site stats and various web applications) that would be quite lucrative without ever placing an ad.

In fact, Google has put any number of previously sound business into liquidation by providing a "free" version of a similar product - accompanied by advertising.

Advertising is their core business. As I previously stated (although the idea was rejected) Google is not primarily a search engine anymore. They are an ad server. Everything that they do serves to support the serving of ads.

And they don't even create the ads the serve (with very few exceptions). They have latched onto the web and suck a little blood out of every electron that they can get to pass through their system.

I believe this thread is more of a Google bashing exercise for some

And a Google clarification exercise for others...

IanCP




msg:4025150
 5:11 am on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

They are an ad server

Absolutely, beyond doubt. I can't imagine anyone savvy in 2009 who would disagree.

I suspect this was what Sergi and his mate had originally envisioned. How else would you justify the HUGE investment of resources [Borrowed - Venture, read Vulture Capital]?

Can any naysayer answer that one? What would you have done? A brilliant algorithm or whatever the secret is. Borrow a $100 million and offer it to the world for FREE?

Oh! They already do that. You simply have to cope with the Ads.

AND

Your preferred alternative could be Ad Free? And I can hardly wait. Please share your model with me.

They have latched onto the web and suck a little blood out of every electron that they can get to pass through their system

Actually you're talking to the wrong person.

Before AdSense, I simply ran a few affiliate programmes for no other reason than to try and recoup ever an increasing and debilitating bandwidth cost. TRUE it was beginning to cost me big money in 1998 with Yahoo, Alta Vista traffic. Money I could ill afford on a pension. The invention of a Google SE in 2000 blew me out of the water.

Fast forward to Google AdSense. Actually I was around seven days late getting on board because I thought it was a flash in the pan. The very first year equated to eighty-five years of the aggregate of all other affiliate income for me.

Imagine that! I took my wife out to dinner for the first time in five years.

Made Mr. Amazon's $635 quarterly cheque pale into insignificance after, literally, the first four days.

Since?

Well over that period of time I can look at an Utopian seven figures in aggregate income. Up's and downs? For sure!

The last time I wrote ANY original content on any site [updates - corrections excepted]? Literally before AdSense was even invented! Again TRUE. No I have not added any real new content since 2002. OK I'm a Grand-Father in more ways than one.

And I DO NOT subscribe to the theory more pages = more income.

I recognise quite a number of AdSense contributors here. Maybe we are their [Google's] only defence. Are we talking through our "pockets".

Probably.

Mate, no risk, I'm a devoted Google fan for 1,001 reasons. I despise Murdoch for 1,001 more social justice reasons.

In the "public interest" it's no contest to me. I'm beginning to seriously wonder how many contributors here monetise their sites, if at all.?

I didn't start out this way, it simply fell into my lap.

TRUE

I like to think I had real good 12+ year old searchable content around my genre. Do others here? I have no fear of Google. I fear Murdoch and his "greasy mates" who would love to mould the world to their distorted way of thought.

They have latched onto the web and suck a little blood out of every electron that they can get to pass through their system

To be replaced with what model?

[OFF GOOGLE BASHING AND ON TOPIC}

Mr. Murdoch is upset because he's in a world he can no longer control [very operative]. It is alien territory for him.

His and other print publications are becoming Dinosaurs. The "golden Fleece" of classified advertising is being dealt a death blow by a myriad of other forces.

IMHO the affect by Google News even isn't measurable. Makes a good talking point though.

Irrespective of what any of us here agree or disagree Murdoch and others are terminally doomed as was once the Hansom Cab.

I personally can't see him or others adapting.

The usual FWIW, YMMV.

davelms




msg:4025264
 3:37 pm on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are comments on this from Jonathan Miller, News Corp's chief digital officer, and from Google in reply, on the Telegraph UK website from yesterday.

microcars




msg:4025278
 4:51 pm on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

NewsCorp apparently has an exclusive 900 million dollar contract WITH GOOGLE that ends in the 2nd quarter of 2010.

[newscorp.com...]

why is Murdoch railing against Google when Google is currently paying NewsCorp 900 million dollars over 4 years?

read the Press Release at the above link and then come back here and try and discuss this with that reference in mind.

The contract is up soon, Google will probably not renew. That will be a revenue stream that NewsCorp will no longer have. I would guess they are in discussions with BING for some sort of exclusive Search partnership and part of that contract would be to exclude Google and other Search engines from access. Publicly railing against Google NOW gives NewsCorp more credibility when they do switch over to BING.
I see something like this happening at the middle of 2010:

"We told Google we were going to block them! (as soon as our contract with them has expired...)
Now we will BLOCK them and only BING can access NewsCorp content!"

signor_john




msg:4025299
 6:00 pm on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

The contract is up soon, Google will probably not renew. That will be a revenue stream that NewsCorp will no longer have. I would guess they are in discussions with BING for some sort of exclusive Search partnership and part of that contract would be to exclude Google and other Search engines from access.

First, the deal between News Corp. and Google involved MySpace.

Second, News Corp. needs traffic from Google News--even if it is low-revenue traffic--a lot more than Google News needs links to News Corp. stories. That's why Rupert Murdoch is making noises about blocking Google after he figures out a way to make users pay for News Corp. content (not before).

mack




msg:4025308
 6:20 pm on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

why is Murdoch railing against Google when Google is currently paying NewsCorp 900 million dollars over 4 years?

That was about contextual ad serving within fox properties. and lets be honest Google woulden't just give Fox 900 million, there had to be a return aka Googles split of ad sales.

Mack.

microcars




msg:4025329
 7:55 pm on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

First, the deal between News Corp. and Google involved MySpace.

It was not JUST MySpace. Does the fact that it involved MySpace somehow invalidate everything?

from the Press Release I cited above:
"The agreement calls for Google to power web, vertical and site specific search for MySpace.com and the majority of Fox Interactive Media properties. Google will be the exclusive provider of text-based advertising and keyword targeted ads through its AdSense program, for inventory on Fox Interactive Media’s network. Google will also have a right of first refusal on display advertising sold through third parties on Fox Interactive Media’s network. "

What is Fox Interactive Media Properties?
from [google.com...] :


About Fox Interactive Media:
A division of News Corp. (NWS and NWS.A), Fox Interactive Media (FIM) is an integrated network of sites offering socially rich media experiences centered on entertainment, news, information and self-expression. The company's network includes Internet assets from News Corp., including the highly trafficked Foxsports.com (http://www.foxspports.com), Americanidol.com (http://www.americanidol.com) and Fox.com (http://www.fox.com). FIM also owns and operates such category leaders as MySpace.com (http://www.myspace.com), the number one social networking site on the Web; Scout.com (http://www.scout.com), a dynamic collegiate and pro sports network; and IGN Entertainment (http://www.ign.com), a network of leading gaming and entertainment sites including men's lifestyle site AskMen (http://www.askmen.com) and premier destination for movie-goers Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com) among others.

This agreement ENDS in a little more than 6 months.

There is something else going on here that we are not privy to. There is some other power play at work behind the scenes. Follow the money and you will find your answers.
disclaimer: I don't have the answer.

signor_john




msg:4025345
 9:15 pm on Nov 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

It was not JUST MySpace. Does the fact that it involved MySpace somehow invalidate everything?

No, but MySpace clearly represented the bulk of the traffic and anticipated (or hoped-for) revenues.

If anything, it's Google who should be unhappy with News Corp., since Rupert did the fleecing while Google got shorn.

vincevincevince




msg:4025519
 5:40 am on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google; they have clearly stated, in public, that they want to be removed from Google. So call their bluff; rip out all their results immediately whether they are in News, Web or even pages that just link to sites owned by Murdoch's empire. Disable Google Reader subscriptions to their feeds, block their blogs from blogsearch. For the avoidance of doubt, block them from using Adwords either. Warn Adsense publishers that linking to News Corp content is potential grounds for account cancellation.

Traffic will plummet and they will count their losses in millions, and when they ask for reinclusion, which they will, you have the upper hand and can make demands as to the longevity of unblocking and access. It would be foolish to wait for them to build a strong position from which to negotiate; take them by surprise and kick the stool from under them. That way when they go to Bing they go as a beggar not a chooser, when they try to sell subscriptions there will already be nobody watching to buy them, and nothing will look profitable to them other than returning to Google.

londrum




msg:4025679
 9:58 am on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

i wish that would happen. google keep on peddling this myth that your site is doomed to failure unless they give you traffic.
it's almost become a bone fide fact -- google controls the destiny of everyone's web-based business.

they need people to keep on believing that, because their entire business model is built on our content. as soon as we start taking our content away their own product will begin to suffer.

the idea that google could harm murdoch's worldwide publishing empire of papers, tv and satellite stations by taking their links out of their engine, which murdoch has already said is not delivering the goods anyway, is crazy.

what harm is it going to do murdoch if fox news drops in the serps? are they going to lose viewers on the TV? nope. and the same with sky. will the washington post start selling less papers on the newsstands? nope.

if people watch fox news on the telly, and want to go to the site, then they'll go to the site. they won't give up simply because google doesn't list it. they'll more likely decide that google is rubbish for missing it out.

signor_john




msg:4025832
 3:23 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

they need people to keep on believing that, because their entire business model is built on our content. as soon as we start taking our content away their own product will begin to suffer.

Yes, and your revenue will suffer, too, if you've been receiving any traffic from Google and you know how to monetize your traffic. You may hate the idea of having your content indexed and read by the non-paying public, but you tolerate it because it's in your own interests to do so.

For that matter, Mr. Murdoch's businesses would suffer if people, governments, and businesses stopped supplying "free content" to THE NEW YORK POST, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Fox News, etc. But for the most part, those people, governments, and businesses believe that it's in their interests to let news organizations profit from the information they provide without compensation.

what harm is it going to do murdoch if fox news drops in the serps? are they going to lose viewers on the TV? nope. and the same with sky. will the washington post start selling less papers on the newsstands? nope.

Mr. Murdoch doesn't own THE WASHINGTON POST, but let's not let facts intrude on the discussion. :-) As for the question of whether Mr. Murdoch would be hurt by a loss of Google traffic, that's obviously something Mr. Murdoch has taken into account. The fact that he's threatening to "block Google" only after he finds a way to make users pay for content suggests that, like many of us, he's profiting from Google's labors.

StoutFiles




msg:4025863
 4:38 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think Murdoch's rant is about shutting down the Google News aggregator and turning Google back into a search engine instead of the front page of his newspaper. It would make no sense to complain about the traffic he receives.

The issue here is that Google gets to do whatever they want. I can name multiple services that Google provides where if I built them, I would get sued/DMCA almost instantly. Just because Google is huge doesn't mean they shouldn't have to follow the rules like everybody else.

[edited by: StoutFiles at 4:50 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2009]

Demaestro




msg:4025867
 4:47 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Londrum,

I can't disagree with your overall philosophy more on this issue.

You seem to think that Google is profiting from our content and is offering nothing in return.

I asked this several times... why if Murdoch doesn't want to have his news appear in Google, doesn't he remove his sites from Google news?

The answer is so obvious but no-one wants to admit they know the answer.

It is because there is value in being in Google's news results. If there was no value in being indexed then you can bet your life Murdoch would have ordered his sites de-listed byb now.

But he doesn't, and the reason is simple... there is value in being indexed.

Once you can admit to yourself that there is value in being indexed then maybe you can see the other side of this issue.

google create nothing. they don't even create the traffic

This is so short sighted I can't believe someone who calls themselves a webmaster would even suggest it.

They created an algorithm that allows people to find websites that contain things they are searching for. It is a service! They have created one of the best services on the Internet and people want to come on this site and say Google creates nothing! Bull Crap!

Go back to a pre-Google Internet.... did you have a website then? I did, do you know how hard it was to get referred traffic back then? Even from a search engine? Google changed all that. We went from having to advertise an AOL KEYWORD on TV and in radio ads to spending nothing on advertising and being referred more traffic from people who were looking for what we had then we ever got from physical ad campaigns.

Google creates nothing? Ya right, they have created almost as many lines of code as there are websites on this planet.

If you honestly feel there is no value in partnering with Google and allowing Google to include your site in it's index then you are a fool of the highest order.

Melvil Dewey was the first to come up with the idea that indexing large amounts of data for easy retrieval would be smart and would be a service people would want. Have you ever heard anyone say Dewey just copied and stole all the names and titles from a bunch of books he never wrote and categorized them, profiting from the works of others. He never created anything.

skibum




msg:4025936
 6:13 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Melvil Dewey was the first to come up with the idea that indexing large amounts of data for easy retrieval would be smart and would be a service people would want. Have you ever heard anyone say Dewey just copied and stole all the names and titles from a bunch of books he never wrote and categorized them, profiting from the works of others. He never created anything.

Dewey came up with an indexing system that merely helped people find information. Google has created an indexing system that helps people find information, devalues that information by turning it into a commodity and profits immensly from it. Requiring the engines to have an opt-in feature rather than opt-out might be be a good thing.

Google has definitely created something but it might be fair to say that they have profited far more from it than those who create the content without which Google would be a big hunk of useless computer code.

It all comes down to revenue distribution. If the indexer of that information continues to reap far more rewards and financial gain than the producers, then after a while the producers have little incentive to invest to produce quality information.

It's also a prisoners dilemma (& Google is great at creating those in a marketplace) especially for the news organizations. If they would ALL keep Google out so people would continue to have to pay for news and information, then each individual would probably make more money and be able to produce a better product. As soon as one lets Google index, then their share of the revenue goes up and everyone else has to follow suit so they all make more money from Google indexing and providing links to their content but their total pie shrinks making them all worse off.

willybfriendly




msg:4025937
 6:14 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Melvil Dewey was the first to come up with the idea that indexing large amounts of data for easy retrieval would be smart and would be a service people would want. Have you ever heard anyone say Dewey just copied and stole all the names and titles from a bunch of books he never wrote and categorized them, profiting from the works of others. He never created anything.

Are you seriously suggesting that index cards in a file in a library (now on a computer) is akin to Google news and Adwords?

Those libraries acquire books via purchase. They don't scrape them or photocopy them. They don't run ads in the card files. Your analogy falls apart on so many levels it borders on the ridiculous.

Yes, I had web properties prior to Google, and prior to adwords/adsense - back when a link meant referrals, not a means to gain rankings.

Google's algo and the ability to accurately organize and rank web documents is irrelevant to Google's marginal respect of fair use. Two different issues. I will grant that Google has transformed the Internet, but I do not believe that transformation has all been for the good. Google ads have transformed the Internet as much as the Google search algo, and little of that has been for the general good (although many, including myself, have profited from it).

That has nothing to do with the issue here, which is Google's self proclaimed right to profit (i.e. commercial activity) on the backs of content authors. The argument to simply opt out is, again, irrelevant.

How many here realize that Brin and Page originally resisted the idea of an advertising based model, even writing a research paper on the subject in 1998 when they were still students? How many remember early attempts to develop a market for the Google Search Appliance?

My point here is that there was a time when Google Search was a free service that respected the intellectual property of others. That time is long past. It is now the Gorg, assimilating all denizens of the web into their ever expanding, ad based empire.

The size, influence and increasing indifference should be a sobering influence for even the biggest consumers of the kool-aid, although it would appear that some are beyond hope.

This thread stands as a good example. The opening post suggested it would be a discussion of intellectual property. Instead it is a discussion of personality (the G corporate personality vs Murdoch) and/or G apologists predictably reiterating their support of the corporation - support that often appears to be based solely in the income that Google provides via their now ubiquitous advertising.

This is so short sighted I can't believe someone who calls themselves a webmaster would even suggest it.

Time will tell what is or is not "short sighted".

londrum




msg:4025947
 6:24 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

there are probably two different answers to this problem, to be fair. because what is good for us - the content creators - is not always what's best for the readers.

i can perfectly understand that google news is a useful product, which readers will likely visit every day. but it's still a squeeze on the content writers paypacket.

it can be both useful to some, and detrimental to others. but if you have to side with someone, then surely you should side with the content creators. because they are the ones that create the product. they are the ones that have to pay for it. and they are the ones that ultimately lose out. just turning round and saying "ah well, you'll just have to wise up and rethink your business" is fine. you can carry on saying that right up to the point that the content creators go out of business. and then the readers will lose out as well.

the content creators need to get a decent return on the work they are putting in, which is substantial. but "traffic" is not a fair return. traffic is not money. it doesn't pay the writers, the copy editors, the photographers and everyone else. google loves it though, because it doesn't cost them a penny. everytime a user leaves through a link they can say "but we paid you in traffic". they are getting something for nothing.

loudspeaker




msg:4025948
 6:25 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

They created an algorithm that allows people to find websites that contain things they are searching for.

... and introduced a tax on the monetary value of that search so that the bulk of value (if there was any in that person's search) would go to Google. It's essentially a global tax on all commerce levied by one monopolistic entity.

I am not a Google-basher (contrary to what some of my more critical postings would suggest) and I admire their technical skills, math/C.S. pedigree and all. I also don't consider their search engine "nothing". But I do question sometimes the fundamental fairness of this system they are building.

And I certainly get offended when people who dare to disagree with the cheery Google-centric worldview are portrayed - mostly in the tech press - as atavists, idiots, greedy capitalists, control freaks and so on.

First, I think such "criticisms" are incredibly hypocritical (especially the one about greediness). Second, I think the "solutions" proposed (robots.txt etc) are simplistic, not to say idiotic. If we start accepting them as "solutions", so many problems in life should not exist then! The minimum wage? Quit and find another job if you don't like it! Domestic violence? Leave him for somebody else, case closed! Yet we do find it necessary to discuss and regulate many areas of our life where the relationship between two (unequal) parties turns acrimonious.

The fundamental problem in publishers dealing with Google is that they are *not* equals. Think about it, please! NOT EQUALS. Google is a lot more powerful. And therefore, any "reciprocity" in value exchanged (you give us content we give you clicks) is nothing more than an illusion. If you start your own search engine and do something I don't like, I will block *you*. It is fine to use this logic on SMALL THINGS. That's because your search engine is not Google. You can not transplant this logic to gigantic monopolies.

signor_john




msg:4026071
 9:00 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

the content creators need to get a decent return on the work they are putting in, which is substantial. but "traffic" is not a fair return. traffic is not money. it doesn't pay the writers, the copy editors, the photographers and everyone else.

Search engines supply the traffic.

It's the publishers' job to make profitable use of that traffic.

If you lack the skills needed to earn a profit on free traffic, that's your fault--not the search engine's.

Getting back to the topic of this thread, Demaestro said something that you should commit to memory:

...there is value in being in Google's news results. If there was no value in being indexed then you can bet your life Murdoch would have ordered his sites de-listed by now.

But he doesn't, and the reason is simple... there is value in being indexed.

That's it in a nutshell. If and when Rupert Murdoch figures out a way to get more readers to enter his sites through the home page and pay handsomely for the privilege, he won't need traffic from Google News. Until then, he'll continue to accept Google News referrals and profit from that traffic as best he can.

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