Murdoch (Again) Threatens To Stand Against Google

Wants to stop search engines "from taking stories for nothing"

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It’s been about five months since Rupert Murdoch first claimed that he would block search engines from News Corp. content, and even if not a lot’s happened as a result, Murdoch hasn’t let the matter slide.  He issued another warning yesterday while at the National Press Club.

Rupert Murdoch"We are going to stop people like Google or Microsoft or whoever from taking stories for nothing . . . there is a law of copyright and they recognise it," Murdoch said according to Paul Harris.

The chairman and CEO of News Corp. later added, "They take [news content] for nothing.  They have got this very clever business model."

Of course, Murdoch didn’t make any fresh announcements regarding News Corp. content and pay walls, or establish any sort of timeframe for when he might do so.  So if these statements have any effect at all, they might weaken his position by highlighting the fact that Murdoch hasn’t taken action so far.

It’s possible that these comments will draw out a few more supporters, though, giving Murdoch a more defensible stance if he ever does flip the switch.  The situation will bear watching.

UPDATE: In a new WebProNews video, Abby Johnson provides a good perspective on the conflict between publishers and search engines, citing recent events and cutting to an interview with Danny Sullivan.  You can watch the video below.

Murdoch (Again) Threatens To Stand Against Google
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  • http://www.islandpcrepairs.co.uk Pieter Bruinsma

    As long as any story points back to the source with an link, what is the problem? He get free hits as people follow stories. what a money driven, greedy SOB he is.

  • Guest

    I say give it a trial run and cut Murdoch off now! Let people get the “real scoop” on what is going on through other sources that dont “twist” the truth.

  • http://www.lisahadleydesign.com Hadley

    I don’t see how he can take on google?

    • http://www.duhble.com Guest

      He cant, thats why he will say but not do.

  • http://carguideblog.com Vincent

    Do you think Murdoch will win by any chance against the giant like Google? Google has gotten ambitious in a few years. They now want to become a global news source with its news aggregator, but without doing any legwork. That would have pissed me off too if Google was sucking up my news.

    • lerry

      Honestly news means NOTHING (for me at least). For many of us news means money. Use your brain to create something. If you can really do it, all respect for you. Google did something really huge. Mr MR….. have no idea what he has done except money.

  • http://www.duhble.com Guest

    Nobody cares about your pathetic news corporation beside the fact it plays politics. Thats why Google is the number one choice for news, we are tired of you old hag. You thought you would make a penny off myspace and thank God it fell apart under facebook. Im not happy for myspace falling apart, Im happy you are falling apart but it is not happening fast enough.

  • http://briarpatchgiftshop.com/ Joe

    Google does have a “very clever business model” this is exactly what put them on top. I read an interesting blog that came from a merchant whose products did not place very high in search results on a shopping service, the answer to that question applies here also “stop complainig and compete” if this is followed free content will lead them to your site and if you have a quality product they are willing to pay for they will do so. Newspapers across the country are hurting so maybe instead of complaing get on board and compete.

  • http://www.slickrockweb.com Eric Nelson

    If Murdoch has anyone that works for him in his internet media divisions that have half of a brain they would know what he is saying is pure theater.

    This pity party that he is trying to throw that he is defenseless to stop Google from indexing his content is pure bull-pucky. There are well established methods of preventing your content from being indexed by Google. If he wants to become invisible from the search engines he can certainly contact me and I could show him how to do it in a day. But we all know that this isn’t really his agenda. I personally would love to see them take on Google. It would be one interesting smash-mouth fight.

  • http://www.fixpcfreeze.com Mathews

    Getting News is a dangerous profession. Journalists risk their lives to get it. Their employers pay them heavy. But when the news is published, Google and other search engines take it free. Yes I agree that without google most people would not have found the news because google is a way of life today. But there is a point in what Murdoch says. Copy right laws must not be violated.

    • Guest

      They don’t “take it”, nitwit, they ADVERTISE IT FOR FREE for YOU and SEND PEOPLE to YOUR SITE!

      Gawd, I hope this kind of stupidity is the minority… and if not, someone please just shoot me.

      • Mike

        He’s just an old dinasaur with old dinasaur ideas who doesn’t yet realize the proverbial asteroid has already hit his world…

  • Mike

    Since all it is is propiganda – why would Google care?
    It’s not news, anyway.
    Does anyone else see a blessing in disguise?

  • Robert

    Murdoch is a rich narcissistic crook that does nothing but contribute to the negativity and noise of this world. You would think that people with money would rather have a constructive impact on society but not old Murdoch. Actually, the world would be better off with less people like Murdoch in it.

  • Georgann

    RM doesn’t own the news. Only the authorship of the articles he publishes. His only hope is to stop publishing his news articles on the web entirely and stick to paper. Then all he can complain about is people passing his papers around for free or leaving them in coffee shops for others to read.

  • Guest

    Everybody here is missing the point.

    How do you promote your websites and become popular without letting any of the SERP’s index you? You just don’t. Not without spending millions of dollars on tv advertising and print advertising, trying to get people to your website, when Google is willing to do this for you for free.

    I don’t understand how you can consider it stealing when from the beginning everybody knew what SERP’s do. In return for that little snippet they get to post, people that get attracted to click on the link, will read the rest of the article and thus look at the other advertising on the pages, and potentially click on one of the ads.

    I would love to hear how much free traffic Murdoch’s websites get from the SERP’s and how much of that traffic makes him money from advertising he has on those websites

    I mean would you feel sad for somebody that wants to block the SERP’s and it probably making $100k a day from all the free traffic they don’t have to pay for?

    We all should be lucky enough to have his problems.

  • DarHalen

    I get a lot of my news from Google News. If Murdock doesn’t want them posting any news results from his media, then let him be excluded and forgotten about.

  • http://lowcostwebdesign4u.com Low cost web design

    Rupert Murdoch has jewish origins so this is natural for him.

    • Guest

      I love these brainiacs who spam webpronews with links to their site and make remarks like this.

    • Julie H

      From your small-mindedness, I can only presume your ancestry is Neanderthal. Why is it, that in an age when we are discussing something so advanced as a global internet connecting all people, there are so many who still don’t understand that this kind of comment is simply a sign of your own miniscule intellect.

  • http://www.gdiusa.ws GDI

    Murdoch is very intelligent and a great business person. However, I think he may be missing something here. There is great synergy between search engines and content providers. Internet traffic to content providers in many instances originates from searches that originate on Google, Yahoo or MSN, and other 2nd and 3rd tier search engines.

    And, the value of a content provider’s website is directly proportionally to how much quality Internet traffic that site has.

    If Murdoch bars search engines from indexing his content, his Internet traffic could diminish, and this could have a negative impact on the value of his content sites.

    I may be wrong, however, it is something to consider.

  • http://www.littlefornow.com Cloth Diapers

    I have to admit this is all kind of amusing to me. While Mr. Murdoch has a point, it is a pretty small one. They get traffic from Google, which increases THEIR ad revenue. Take away all the Google/Bing traffic and their ad revenue will drop. I am personally not willing to pay for news, there are too many good sources of free info.

    So, it appears to me that if all of Rupert’s news disappears from the SERPs, the rest of us are going to get a subtle boost. Not like I am taking that to the bank, but someone WILL fill the void. The internet does not operate in a vacuum. Sounds like a prime opportunity for other news outlets to increase marketshare.

  • James West

    Maybe he hasn’t done anything yet, because how can he prtotect lies and untruths that run rampant through his Fox News Programs. These lies are picked up by others and reprinted. No one would print them on there own. I hope he doesn’t think hes going to get paid for lies. Maybe if he smartened up and made Fox News a ligitamite news show he would sound more like he knows what he is talking about. Have more standing.

  • http://719x.com Hypocrisy

    90% of the stories printed by Murdoch owned agencies are reprints from Reuters and other international feeds.

    Therefore, to suggest that anyone is ‘taking’ stories is ludicrous and unsubstantiated. What is really happening is that news agencies like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. are out of touch with the real news in comparison to the ‘easy read’ news style of the modern blogger.

    People are flocking in large numbers to organic blogs and websites which deliver news articles written by real people and not syndicated mainstream journalism.

  • Go Away Murdoch

    I think it would be awesome if Google, PUNISHED murdoch by NOT allowing his newspaper articles to show up in a search. We all know, Murdoch, and his papers are what controls the minds of the simple who can not think for themselves. Murdoch and all his papers lean to the left and control our elections. If Google (whom I respect highly for standing up to China for free speech) no longer lead people to Murdoch news papers, Murdoch will suffer because his ads will suffer, #2 we may be able to have a more fair and unbiased election. Now, if we could only do this with the television!

    Please Google, don’t let these folks push you around. Stop giving links to Murdochs papers, not because of the threat of a lawsuit but to protect HONEST and free speech in AMERICA.

    • http://719x.com Hypocrisy

      No election can ever be fair or unbiased, because working class citizens cannot be elected.

      The time is now for a coup and a complete government overthrow. That is the only way we can ever get the average American citizen into office instead of electing suits who are genetically born and bred in laboratories.

      • Guest

        Sadly, you’re right.

        It’s all in he/she who has the most money for the most commercials in order to spew the most lies wins.

        Just look, after destroying ebay, meg whitman is trying to buy the governorship of California.

    • Guest

      I think you meant lean to the right and not “lean to the left”.

      But, yes, they absolutely infuse the minds of the simple with their hate vomit on FAUX “news”.

      Just a few of Murdoch’s properties include the Times of London, “American Idol,” “The Simpsons Movie,” Fox News Channel, MySpace, National Geographic television and a British tabloid that prints photos of topless women.

      Agreed, I would LOVE to see all Murdoch properties blocked from google!

      • Guest

        Typical of how this individual operates:


        If you watch fox news, you should watch the documentary “Outfoxed”

        You can find it on http://freedocumentaries.org

        And if it’s been a while since you’ve watched “Orwell Rolls in His Grave”

        You can find it here:

        Mr Murdoch’s content is critical to the leading of the sheeple to slaughter.

  • http://www.littleabout.com Amit

    Search engines can be blocked by using robots.txt if you do not know get some technical person to do the job.

    If you are on the web you are bound to be hit by search engine bots and all bots follow some standards like the robots.txt that can help you block the search engine.

    By making yourself available on the net and then expect the search engine not to index you sorry it does not work that way.

  • http://www.swivl.org Yale Wishnick

    This is all just a bunch of hype. Rupert Murdoch has no intention to block any search engines from News Corp. This simply brings publicity to his company. And, as usual mainstream reporters have left their critical thinking skills as home. SWIVL.org

  • Guest

    Why don’t you go buy an island somewhere with warm water and cool tropical breezes and just relax during your final days of senility on this planet?

    Or, better yet, buy me one, so I don’t have to hear anymore of your drivel! lol

  • http://www.dietoolongtea.co.uk Alberto Thomas

    Go on Rupert, make my day.. Do you honestly believe you are the only source of news out there, have you ever heard of the BBC, there news is FREE!!!!

    The web is controlled by the people – and not by you, perhaps this is something you are not used to.

    Have a nice day..

  • http://www.condomelite.com Seymor

    Dear Mr. Murdoch,
    You are one of the greatest businessman, but sometimes even the greatest can misjudge the reality. Times are different. You can make one sharp move, and loose more than gain. It is better to have Google on your side of the field.

    • http://www.dictionary.com Bubba

      The correct term (often misused) is ‘lose’ not ‘loose.’ ‘Loose’ is the opposite of ‘tight’ while ‘lose’ is the opposite of ‘win.’
      Same thing applies to those who don’t understand the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’
      Take 30 seconds to learn the difference, please. It will make your posted opinions sound more authoritative.

  • http://www.furniturequest.com/ Furniture Quest

    Have to admit I agree with Murdoch to some degree.

    • Guest

      Then perhaps you should block your furniture store content from google.

      We wouldn’t want them to “steal” your content and drive any business to your site, now would we?

      Perhaps they should charge you for the customers they send to you, huh?

      Of course you’ll spam and self-promote your site on webpronews though, right?

      WTF is the matter with some people?

    • gjb

      … an idiot

  • http://www.perpetualads.com Perpetualads.com

    Google, as big as they are, can’t even formulate a solution for this copyright infringement thing…they can’t even find a solution to ignore invalid (fraudulant) clicks…

    Now that China has infiltrated their system and can’t CONTROL China, they go viral about it when in-fact, they’re the same way online. When Google thinks that somebody is cheating them, they do a China move on them…Well, you’re in China, and China is doing a Google move on you, Google! Their very own medicine.

    Please use all of that cash to find a solution, Google…because slowly but surely, the minions are leaving your services.

  • JohnM

    The new laws passed this week by the UK government, are falling right into people like Murdochs hands, and making it easier for things like this to happen. Before long our internet will be so heavily policed, that fair usage will almost be a joke, in other words there wont be fair usage anymore. Any site that has anything either copied or linked will be open to something like what Murdoch is doing. The internet as we UK users know it will disappear. We think China has a problem with blocked websites, it wont be long before that happens to us.

    • Guest

      Just read this a minute ago:

      I wouldn’t mind one bit if Murdoch blocked his propaganda BS content with a paywall, but it would be tragic if the legitimate news sources were to follow suit.

      Hopefully this will cause only the legitimate ones to remain, while the greedy POS ones like Murdoch’s disappear into oblivion.

    • Chloee

      You think that’s bad? Australia might have a mandatory internet filter. Senator Conroy the idiot wants to impose an internet filter on all Australians under the guise of “protecting the children from p0rn”.

      Unfortunately, his plans are so pathetic, none of the Australia telecommunication companies or even the advocate groups for children are supporting it. What the filter does block are certain websites that the govt deem “inappropriate” for the Australian public to see (such as bad govt news or PR sites).

      This is exactly what China does to their people, censored information! The most unbelievable thing is, it might happen to a democratic country like Australia.

      I think Mr Brown and Mr Conroy are brain storm buddies.

      • Guest

        Oh dear God, and so it begins.

        I hope you guys fight that tooth and nail and are able to vote it down, because it will surely go global if it does indeed pass in Australia.

        Controlling what information we are allowed and/or disallowed would be our worst nightmare.

        “Help! My Government Wants To Censor My Internets”

        “No Opt-Out for Aussie Net Filter”


  • http://www.JigsawAday.com Wayne

    As long as you can’t read the entire content at Google, but have to click through to the actual website itself to view the full content, he should be happy Google is driving traffic to his sites and not charging him for the privilege. Most website owners work their tails off trying to get Google’s attention.
    That said, the site owner should be able to control how much is retained by Google’s cached pages as well as archive.org’s content. You should also be able to assign a percentage of how much of your content you want Google to show from each page. Perhaps a “contentpercent=10″ tag for the first 10% of a page?
    Just my humble opinion.

  • http://www.paintballgames.co.uk Oliver Gillies

    I think Rupert Murdoch is disturbed by the pace that the information economy has changed around him. The matter of the fact is the internet has completely changed the face of information exchange and people like Rupert Murdoch are fast if not already have lost their monopoly and in order to do anything about it Murdoch should be surrounding himself with people who understand new e-commerce and working with it as a pose to throwing his toys out of the pram and trying to re-instate his monoply…which in my opinion will not happen

  • Xavier Holland

    Google powers Myspace search. Is he losing his mind?

    • Pookie

      so Rupert is fluffing his feathers to make him look bigger

      but he just looks like the big jerk he is.

      Please block all your content. We will get by.

  • Guest

    YES to blocking ALL murdoch content from google and ALL search engines across the entire global internet, both current and cached!

    YES to even blocking the name murdoch!

    YES to his invisibility!


    • Guest

      Agreed! Bye Bye you old dinosaur. Your media content is slanted and hateful. The world will be a friendlier happier place without you.

      Years from now when Murdoch is just a remnant of the good old days, someone will report that on his deathbed his last words were… “Rosebud”.

  • Phil

    It seems to me that the only purpose in creating web content is to attract web site visitors. Search engines are the primary means by which individuals find content they’re interested in. Blocking search engines insures that the content will be hidden so that makes me wonder…why create it in the first place? Even if it’s a subscription site, the content still needs to appear in the search results.

  • http://www.topseo.net Buy Email Address Lists

    There is no way they can block Google from crawling and indexing their content. It is free press for a reason. I am so tired of people complaining about google.com I love it.
    All my sites are listed in google… People see my intros then click on the link from Google.com to me to read the rest of my information.
    I don’t understand what the big deal is?

    • Guest

      Oh look, everyone, it’s a dude selling your email addresses to spammers!

      That’s a great way to get your sites banned from google content, tim mathews.



  • http://best-seo.org best seo

    Murdoch might be right in some regards but not search engines are responsible for his management mistakes. All he has to do is to ban access to unregistered users and make the content available on certain areas of his sites. It is the inner nature of the web to be open; who offers paid services only needs to ask a fee for the content he provides. I think Murdoch is getting old and feels like being not able to keep up any longer. But, from his prospective, he has to try; the problem is that if he loses the war, it’s going to turn bad for him.

  • http://www.johnnapoletano.com John Napoletano

    Maybe Rupert is being a little short sited. Like many others out there I search Google News, visit the sites that show up after digging around. Usually I get half a news article or after reading one or two pages on a news site I get asked to subscribe. That’s a heck of a lot cheaper “advertising” versus blasting nationwide (worldwide) across TV and Radio networks hey buy my newspaper – for which I will buy just 1, maybe not his. Google news exposes us all to many of the news sites out there. I don’t just stay on Google.com. Maybe Rupert didn’t do a full ROI calc on that one.

  • http://www.searchsquad.com.au Mark – Search Squad

    I think he’s going about this all the wrong way. The world has changed and he’s not keeping up. New technology means that people are searching for their news differently and really, nobody cares if it is branded with his seal of approval or not.
    Google now controls the information, not newspapers or TV stations. Murdoch needs to be careful he doesn’t start a fight he can’t win.

  • Jon

    Sounds like nothing more than “sour grapes” from Rupert Murdoch. He just doesn’t like anyone else making money. The real give away is where he says “they have this great business model”. In other words, “I wish I thought of that”.

    Google respects the robots.txt file, so you can tell Google not to read your content. They do not breach copyright, as their search results return only a small portion of the text from the website. The only place they might have a legal issue is with cached pages, but that could be solved simply by NOT caching pages from companies like NewsCorp.

    Frankly I think Murdoch is taking a big gamble here. He really needs to ask the question whether Google needs Newscorp more than Newcorp needs Google.

    Frankly, the majority of NewsCorp’s media is nothing better than tabloid trash anyway, so I for one would not miss them in my search results.

  • Jerry

    If google just stops searching all the newscorp sites it would potentially cost newcorp far more in lost free advertising. Rather than being directed to a newscorp site another online publisher will be more prominent in the search results. This could well benefit other players in the news business. I think it could be a deathwish to newscorp.

  • http://cyberwizardproductions.com crystalwizard

    He thinks he’s still living in the era when it was hard to get news. Before everyone and their dog was on the net and everyone and their dog was reporting on everything, he could block someone from his content and everyone else would be scrambling to find anything about the stories he carries.

    Now the only thing that happens is that his sites aren’t going to show up and everyone’s going to get their content from other places.

    He’s about to bankrupt himself.

    Someone needs to explain what SEO means and why companies WANT search engines to find them.

  • http://www.clickfind.com.au Taco Fleur

    I think it’s ridiculous, just another way of adding more billions to what he already makes. He should stop making false threats and pull the plug, implement a robots.txt file and be done with it.

  • http://www.southpacificwireless.com Big Aussie

    Murdoch is grandstanding in the final days of his empire.

    News print and charging for general news are numbered. General News is now a commodity, and as such has been priced by the masses as near worthless.

    News which is directed toward a niche market (Wall Street Journal) will/should always attract a premium. Like any membership website (many attached to blogs) there is also good money in it. Plenty of money to pay for quality journalism. That is what Murdoch should be concentrating on. Forget the grandstanding. Murdoch’s ego is getting in the way of the growth of News Corp.

    Even though it is supported by tax payers dollars; the BBC is a good example of what can be achieved online and is to be commended. They also run multiple radio stations, so have just as many irons in the fire as Murdoch.

    In the end the people will decide; and it is not looking very good to be a generalist in this brave new world.

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  • http://losthalosyndicate.com Chris Campos

    Is Google truly stealing news content? Are they indexing password-protected stories? Is Google taking the news, stripping the author names and sources from the stories and calling them THEIR own stories? Are they selling the news as if it was their own? Are they distributing stories that don’t belong them?

    As I have seen, Google keeps articles intact, with authors and source names, with links to the original sites. You often have to go to the source to read the full articles. You can’t say they are distributing content that isn’t theirs because they are only passing along links to the information in a search-friendly manner that the news outlets have made available on the web. How is Google different than a library? Libraries keep and archive newspapers and anyone can go into a library and read the paper for free. You may argue that Google profits off the ad sales, but does the library not take membership fees or late fees or copy fees merchandise sales?

    If Murdoch chooses to have his papers online then he must play the game, or make his own internet and have his own game rules. Good luck with that. When given a choice between two identical products but the difference being one of them is free, take a wild guess what the people will choose.

    Funny how when I go to the New York Post site, I see the share icons for facebook and twitter and RSS. If you dont want to share your stories then why are you offering links that “SHARE”?

    Murdoch I am truly sorry that your private jet this year has to be last year’s model or that you have to wait a few more years to buy your private island, I’m much too busy over here struggling to pay my meager and lowly monthly rent and and buying parts for my 15 year old car that appears to be help together with nothing more than filth and God’s grace.

  • http://thectrstore.com Brandon

    I think this is another way for news companies to take a stand against the internet. I worked for a while in the newspaper industry and I know first hand how threatened they feel by companies like Google Yahoo, and Microsoft.

  • Guest

    If it is News Corps content and being used outside of “Fair Usage” – then News Corp should be paid something.

    Just because News Corp is already successful doesn’t make it a charity that should have to absorb losses.

  • http://www.stream2watch.com Lars

    Dude haha cant believe that old man really thinks he can stop google … He should care about his old paper business… thats just one of those guys that should be happy they made there success and money before the internet :)

  • Pete

    http://www.stream2watch.com same shit with a video

  • Silly

    I’m all for having his propoganda source from being listed in the search engines. Just one more step of stopping dis-information from spreading to the masses.

  • http://www.indiainternets.com Guest

    Murdoch is correct in saying google and mircosoft are violating the copyright however its the people’s right to knowledge on what happenings around.

  • Guest

    His outrage makes neither technical nor business sense.

    If he wants spiders to bypass his content then judicious use of robots.txt Robot Exclusion Protocol is pretty simple, so at a technical level I don

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