News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch’s efforts to change the way his content is distributed online are continuing, with a deal reportedly in the works to make News Corp content searchable only by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Greg Jarboe, writing at Search Engine Watch, asserts that the deal would require Murdoch’s content to be actively de-listed from Google News, which would make search engine optimization (SEO) efforts on behalf of News Corp websites an exercise in frustration. Bing’s market share is a small fraction of Google’s.
Jarboe cites a Hitwise study which shows that a little more than 16 percent of visitors to newspaper websites arrive there via Google, making that search engine by far the biggest single referrer to newspaper sites.
Search engine optimization (SEO) experts say that Murdoch’s dissatisfaction with Google News and its ilk is understandable, but that erecting stronger pay walls around content would be a disastrous overreaction. With print readership drying up rapidly, SEO professionals say that making online content more difficult to access would be suicidal.