Nov 22, 2009

Microsoft, News Corp to challenge Google

The Financial Times reports that Microsoft and News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal, have joined together to challenge the dominance of Google as an aggregator of online news content.

From the FT:
Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company’s being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.

...the Financial Times has learnt that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine.

...the biggest beneficiary of the tussle could be the newspaper industry, which has yet to construct a reliable online business model that adequately replaces declining print and advertising revenues.

The Wall Street Journal has long held the line against giving away all of its online content for free. Meantime, Microsoft's Bing search engine has looked for ways to compete with Google. For its part, Google told FT that newspaper content doesn't account for much online revenue. But how many more people might think "Bing" when they first sign on the Internet in the morning to look for the news (depending, of course, on how many papers follow News Corp's lead)?

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