The Traffic News Corp. Would Lose Without Google

Google is the Top Traffic Provider for WSJ.com

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As you may know, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp., is saying he may block search engines from accessing the organization’s content. He expressed this notion in a recent interview.

If Murdoch were to act upon this, it would mean theoretically that you would no longer be able to find Wall Street Journal, New York Post, etc. content on Google. Of course that would be in a world where scraped content isn’t frequently crawled by search engines.

If Murdoch were to pull all of the original content, he would risk all of his content just being found on other sites through Google (or Yahoo or Bing or wherever). The reality is that illegal scraping will continue to exist, and search engines aren’t perfect. There is a great chance that they will still crawl the content, without even knowing it was originally produced by News Corp. properties. With News Corp.’s content in the search engines, at least the engines will be able to place that content higher in results where it would be more likley to drown out the scraped versions.

This week, a Google spokesman told Emma Barnett at the Telegraph, "Google News and web search are a tremendous source of promotion for news organisations, sending them about 100,000 clicks every minute."


"If publishers want their content to be removed from Google News specifically all they need to do is tell us."

So in other words, Google is fine with Murdoch pulling out. News Corp.’s the one that stands to lose more from that. Experian Hitwise shared some rather interesting data with WebProNews:

– On a weekly basis Google and Google news are the top traffic providers for WSJ.com account for over 25% of WSJ.com’s traffic. 
– According to Experian Hitwise data, over 44% of WSJ.com visitors coming from Google are "new" users who haven’t visited the domain in the last 30 days.

– Twitter and Facebook sent 4% of US visits to News and Media sites in October 2009. (via @Hitwise_US)

Percentage of Traffic to WSJ.com from Google

It’s interesting to look at the above graphs and note that WSJ.com is getting considerably more traffic from Google and Google news than in years past. It will also be interesting to see if Murdoch goes through with pulling content from Google.

As it stands right now, it is still easy to go to Google News and find content from the Wall Street Journal. If that and other News Corp.- owned publications are removed, that can only mean increased traffic for similar sites.

Related Articles:

> Murdoch On Blocking Search Engines: "I Think We Will"

> Google Okay With Blocking News Corp.

> Murdoch Says Newspapers Must Charge For Online Content

> Obvious: People Don’t Want to Pay for Online News

> Google Trying to Differentiate Between Blogs and News?

> Can SEO Help Save the Publishing Industry?

> Reuters Happy to Take Traffic the AP Doesn’t Want

The Traffic News Corp. Would Lose Without Google
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  • Edward

    I think this whole thing has possibly been over-stated. If you watch the full interview, he talks about the “wall” that “doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling” allowing for a 1-2 paragraph preview, then going to a subscribe prompt. My guess is that will be the model going forward. But who knows? He may put the hard-core smackdown on Google.

    However, he does bring up some legitimate points about monetization of content, and there’s a good chance that in the future, much content will be gated by either subscription or device. He’s been made out by many as a Luddite fuddy-duddy, but I don’t think he’s anyone’s fool. If his content monetization model ends up working, you can bet others will follow.

  • http://denijane.blogspot.com Deni

    At least I don’t believe anyone with average intelligence could block Google from his/her content. Where do they think their traffic comes? From people who get up in the morning and drink their coffee checking news sites? Well, I doubt such people are the majority. Most people either find an interesting link somewhere or find the news trough google. So, it will be an interesting experiment to watch.

    And I definitely think that there should be serious brainstorming on how news sites can profit without charging for their content and without bothering honest bloggers who scrap their content. What’s wrong with scrapping, if a week or two later, the news is with changed its and you can no longer redirect people to it. I had this problem on a number of occasions, that is why I prefer to at least partially scrap news. Link are always present for people to visit the source site, but I cannot count on other sites to keep links to interesting content just for me.

  • http://www.hmb.super-suple.pl/skad-jest-pozyskiwana-odzywka-zawierajaca-hmb.html HMB

    I was just seeking this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative sites in top of the list. Normally the top websites are full of garbage.

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