Dow Jones Exec Calls Google A ‘Vampire’ To The Newspaper Industry

    June 25, 2009

Dow Jones Chief Executive Les Hinton has been bitten by a vampire. He claims that Google is the “digital vampire” that has been “sucking the blood” out of the newspaper industry.

I totally agree!

Hinton must have been bitten by a vampire. How else do you explain such nonsense coming from the man responsible for one of the largest publishing companies–and owners of The Wall Street Journal.

He continues his deluded rhetoric:

[Google] didn’t actually begin life in a cave as a digital vampire per se. The charitable view of Google is that the news business itself fed Google’s taste for this kind of blood.”

By offering its content free on the Web, the newspaper industry “gave Google’s fangs a great place to bite,” he continued. “We will never know what might have happened had newspapers taken a different approach.”

I tell you what would have happened. Without Google sending millions of daily visitors to newspaper web sites–for FREE–the newspaper industry would have being snuggling up to the Dodo a long time ago. It drives me batty (pun intended) when I read about newspaper execs blaming their demise on Google. They seem to believe that the newspaper industry would still be thriving, if it weren’t for the search engine making it easy to serve up their content.

Let’s think about that, shall we? As a publisher, you’re placing your content on your web site, right? If you didn’t want your online content to cannibalize your printed daily offering, why post it to the web? Oh, I see. You have to, because that’s where people prefer to get their news these days. OK, you want people to find your news story and not your rivals’ right? How are you going to do that? Hmm, seems like there’s one channel that hundreds of millions of people use to find new content each day? Do you remember the name of that place? Ah, yes, Google!

OK, you get my point, so I’ll stop the sarcasm and get back to the facts.

People want to read news online. They don’t want to pay for it. They use Google. Google sends you the bulk of your daily web site visitors. Either figure out how to monitize those visitors–like the rest of the world–or block Google via your robots.txt file and shut up!