The saga of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s continuing threats to pull all content from his News Corporation from Google’s search engines is a long one, but the latest chapter could be pivotal: Google has shown signs of preparation for a possible Murdoch pull-out by making it easier for news sites to remove themselves from search results.
While the prospective move could have catastrophic results for traditional search engine optimization (SEO) at News Corp sites, Murdoch has repeatedly stated his desire to move toward a payment model that shifts the focus from advertising – which has been in decline – and towards subscription fees.
U.S. journalists have seen their profession staggered by stumbling ad sales and budget cuts, and industry analysts say that newspapers are searching desperately for new revenue streams to replace those lost to online advertising. Google News and other aggregators drive traffic to newspaper sites, but don’t share ad revenue from the aggregator sites themselves, according to CNET.
However, many still say that Murdoch’s move could be ill-advised, conceding a massive search engine optimization (SEO) advantage to competitors who stick with Google despite the slump in ad revenues.