Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Google concedes to Rupert Murdoch

You may recall a few weeks back that Rupert Murdoch had threatened to pull all of his new properties from the Google Search Engine in a bid to increase profitability and decrease the number of unpaid hits coming from the outside. He was widely mocked at the time for thinking FoxNews, WSJ, etc. could stay relevant if they were delisted from the search giant. Instead, Google has given NewsCorp a major concession with its new "First Click Free" feature in Google News. Under this new algorithm, the first 5 times that a user clicks on an article in Google News that lives behind a pay wall, they are allowed thru. Then the 6th time, they are redirected to the "register (and pay) to view" site for the newspaper.

Seems like a reasonable compromise. At the same time, it is unclear why the NewsCorp sites couldn't do this themselves, rather than pawning off the functionality to Google. Technically, it is not a big challenge to implement. Perhaps this is merely a way to prove NewsCorp has power in the online world.

No comments: