I have been reading about the whereabouts of News Corp., Google, and Microsoft in recent two weeks and I noticed something weird happening here about but could not put my finger on it. To those who do not know the storyline here is a short description posted on Hitwise today:
Two weeks ago we posted on Rupert Murdoch’s threat to block Google from Indexing News Corp. content. While at first it seemed as though Murdoch was merely posturing with hypotheticals, reports continue to indicate that News Corp. is seriously considering choosing Bing as the exclusive “indexer” of their news content.
At first, I thought Mr. Murdoch was playing tricks on Google but when Microsoft entered the picture with their proposal to News Corp. to exclusively allow indexing of their sites on Bing only things got clearer. I am not talking about the not surprising tactic from Microsoft’s arsenal but on a totally different thing.
The new phenomenon here is the change of balance between publishers and Google. The status quo until today was that everyone just wished Google would index their websites and the more the merrier. Indexing meant traffic which summed up to more revenues from advertising. Industries have been created on this raw desire to be indexed on Google, for example, SEO and SEM were millions of dollars have been poured into it. News Corp. as a big website with big assets understood that Google is no less important to them than the opposite.
I am not sure whether Bill Gates got it and talked to News Corp or the other way around (though it smells like Bill’s way of thinking) but something has changed here.
Now that this has happened we can contemplate in a few directions. For example, what will happen if other websites will follow through and will deindex themselves from Google? And also is this happening because Google is no longer the main hub for getting users to websites where social bookmarking and tiny URLs on twitter fill the gap? Is this the reason Google is developing operating systems to grab hold of users while they know they lose ground in the pure web market?
I think this is a serious topic for Google to think about.