Rupert Murdoch is reported as saying that he plans to de-index his web properties from Google and go to an all-paid subscription format.
In case you never got a chance to see this interview, here it is:
Now, the talk is that Bing.com has had discussions with News Corp about offering exclusive content through its search engine. According to a Financial Times article, Microsoft, the owner of Bing.com, has approached other publishers with a similar deal.
TechCrunch gives a little bit of insight into how this might play out in the long run and who is ultimately behind the coup that seems to be developing right before our very eyes.
The interesting thing I find about all of this is this: If Microsoft did strike a deal with News Corp – and with the top 5 other media publishers as Jason Calacanis suggests – then that would definitely take a bite size chunk out of Google’s search share. No doubt about it. But it would have to happen on a larger scale than what Rupert Murdoch is suggesting. He doing it alone would not work. He would have to get the other media companies to go in with him at the same time.
In other words, a paid indexing deal between Bing.com and News Corp would be like a rock ding on an old Pontiac. A small dent. Nothing more. But if the top 5 media companies at the same time struck the same deal then that would be more like a boulder smashing the top of the Pontiac and flattening it. Google would still be alive, but searchers looking for news content would have to – they’d have no choice – use Bing.com. Google’s search share would plummet within a year.
Another thing that would happen is a bidding war for content indexing. It’s possible that anyone who wants to be indexed at any search engine would then have to pay to be in the index. Once Google lost share it would have no choice but to approach other large publishers to offer an exclusive deal in order to give consumers a reason to use it instead. They could even offer better deals to News Corp and other publishers who were being bought by Microsoft. This would completely change the way webmasters perform search engine marketing. Instead of discouraging paid links, Google would then almost be forced to encourage paid links. The web as we know it today would disappear and the search engine marketing game would change completely.
Is this even possible? Are all these people dreaming or is there really a coup d’etat in the works involving the wealthy media elite and the third most popular search engine? And where is Yahoo! in this mix? Anyone?