Will Microsoft’s Suicidal Attempt Change Search Engine Dynamics Forever?

Rupert Murdoch has started a heated debate on Google’s policy of not sharing revenues with news publishers. Their argument is simple if Google is making billions by providing links to their content then they ought to get a pie of those Ad dollars. He has even cautioned Google for removing links from its search engine if they don’t meet their demands.

We at WATBlog always thought there was more to tussle between news paper publishers and Google then what meets the eye. We even covered WSJ attempts for micro-payment solution before staking their claim for content tie-up.


So why is NewsCorp so mad at Google’s Indexing?

NewsCorp currently is a partner for Google’s ‘First Click Free’ programme through which any person visiting site’s like WSJ from Google News can read the first paid article for free and after that he/she has to shell  out money to read the other content. The loophole allows many visitors to frequent WSJ through the backdoor from Google news thus catching all the paid content as free. This has resulted badly for WSJ’s flight towards micropayment.

The end result is that NewsCorp has almost made their mind and are in the market to sell their ‘Content is King’ argument to Bing or whatever search engine they could find to pay hefty fees for the same. Some sources say that Microsoft is even willing to forge a Content deal in a desperate move to beat Google’s monopoly in search engine war.

Search Engine Dynamics to Change Forever?

search engine dynamics

Microsoft should perhaps know that if it signs any such content deal then it would also be changing the search engine dynamics forever and would send all of us in the pre dot com era where content was sold at exorbitantly high prices. Any attempt to thwart Google’s monopoly would only worsen the case for the whole search engine business because other big media publishers would not sit in the offing and can try to snatch money from Microsoft and even perhaps from Google.

This could perhaps start an epic business war with social networks & Media publishers on one side pressurizing search engines to pay or else forfeit their rights to Index. It is also correct to assume that no search engine could earn even normal profits forget super-normal if they start to cough up money just to index links.

NewsCorp must also understand that charging search engine for content can be viable in short term but it will be suicidal for even publishers as any downturn in search engine revenues would see direct assault on their Ad-rates. Even the publishing business has become very dynamic as even exclusive news loses its importance in few hours in a industry mirroring news headlines.

So what is the middle path?

As suggested by Josh Cohen, Product Manager Google News, publishers could easily put a firewall around their content and still get listed in Google News if they show the landing users the same preview content it shows to Google News Index bot. Google is even ready to help big publishers in placing a micro-payment solution on their site as it thought of doing few month ago .

Let’s hope news media publishers don’t degrade the Web Ecosystem for sake of few extra dollars as it would do more harm than good for both the concerned parties and most important to web searchers.

17 Responses to “Will Microsoft’s Suicidal Attempt Change Search Engine Dynamics Forever?”

  1. Tarang
    November 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Why do u pick up articles from Techcrunch and add your two cents?

    Will we Indians ever shed the tag of being copy cats?

    • November 17, 2009 at 8:17 am #

      @tarang – Not more than 20% of our content is international and I think we cover it because people want to read about global happenings. Unlike you most readers dont have time to read all blogs. We cater to an audience that wants to know what is happening in the Indian digital media space and by providing them an international perspective as well we give them a global view of digital media from an Indian standpoint.

      Hope you would spend more time reading WATBlog and you would know that majority of our content is the kinds thats never covered on techcrunch. Also we dont copy anything. We report on news that we feel has global importance and that too just 20% of our content forms such news. We see value in this as it gives a global perspective.

  2. Sikha
    November 17, 2009 at 9:06 am #


    I don’t think that argument makes sense. If you really want your readers to get the global perspective, why don’t you have guts to mention the source. or in first place provide the link to original source. The fact that the writer skips mentioning original source shows “intent” of it. In academic world it is called plagiarism.

    It is no wonder the writer is purporting the free content.

    • November 17, 2009 at 9:59 am #

      Im not sure you read the article or even clicked on the links. Please try this link -> http://www.watblog.com/2009/11/11/watfive-your-daily-guide-to-web-advertising-technology-news/

      We have quoted the source as venturebeat for the rupert murdoch post. Then we have refered to the above article in this current article that you have commented on.

      Now we mention source whereever there is exclusive news or where we borrow comments or analysis from. like in the last para of this article there is a link back to mashable’s analysis. Though we link text in context. So in the para we have mentioned micro-payment solution and linked it to mashables post.

      Now we dont mention source when its a public press release in which case even if western blogs report it first it is not an obligation for us to cite them as source as the news is a public news and can be used by bloggers and news agencies alike.

      You know what I find to be sad.. That Indians like you suck up to western blogs even though Indian bloggers work as hard or more doing great work here in India. I think the fact we cover western stuff is not because we admire it but its because we think its required in the context of a global internet economy. But as stated earlier we have continued to do lots (over 80% of our content) of exclusive Indian interviews and stories which some how you choose to ignore and choose to focus on 1 out of 5 stories where we have blogged about global trends. Which again I might add is done with due sources as illustrated above.

      After over 3 years of being in existence we know the policies that make our values and blog tick and know what plagiarism is. In anycase Id like to thank you for your comment.

  3. November 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    @Tarang @Shikha

    Lets take your issues One – by – One:

    Plagiarism ?

    If you are so intelligent could you point out a single line which is taken from other blog.If you want to check the integrity of this article try Copyscape.com

    We are the only Indian Blog which do not copy paste even Press releases thanks to our chief Rajiv. so you should know that we have high standards for posts on WATBlog in terms of back-links,perspectives etc.

    Now about Story Theme?

    WATBlog was the only Indian blog which covered the newspaper – Google tussle right from the beginning Check here ,cos we are far sighted that’s why we are professional blogger’s and can gauge things which could have impact in future for our readers.

    All Blogs including International are talking about how such events could jeopardize plans of media companies or Microsoft offers to NewsCorp but did someone ever talked about how search engine dynamics could change forever due to this event……very few or even negligible.

    Why do we cover international content or or similar stories?
    If you buy any major newspaper in India or anywhere you would find 70% similar stories in all of them so why does people buy multiple newspapers cos they want different perspective.We at WATBlog wants our readers to have complete knowledge of Web,Advertising and Technology domain.

    Could you also point out a single blog which do not publishes the same headlines given in other sources.I bet not even techcrunch does that

    Even If we are called copycats we would continue to maintain our strict adherence and sectoral domain to guide our readers :)

  4. Arun
    November 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    Hi Raghav
    thanks for presenting the details .. i am keen to understand this correlation further and your thoughts on how u arrived at this …
    “NewsCorp must also understand that charging search engine for content can be viable in short term but it will be suicidal for even publishers as any downturn in search engine revenues would see direct assault on their Ad-rates”

  5. Tarita
    November 17, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    @Raghav: There is a vast difference in the grammar used in the article content and the grammar in the comment made by you below. Which goes to prove either a very good Editing job or a copy-paste-beg-borrow-steal article, or maybe even both? So lets not even begin to get there.

    @Rajiv: You cannot and should not be allowed to get away with writing stuff like

    “That Indians like you suck up to western blogs even though Indian bloggers work as hard or more doing great work here in India”

    No matter how much of a reader base or fan following you may have – It goes to show that you dont value your readers and def dont respect them! Im shocked at your cocky attitude.

    As far as the article and the matter of plagiarism, I think the article is as plagiarized as many other on the same topic.

    I rest my case…

    • November 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

      With regards to the editing I would like to thank Abhishek who is the sub editor and is constantly making an endeavour. With regards to beg borrow steal please give me proof. Dont just make accusations. If you dont have proof please dont comment.
      Also with regards to my comment I stand by it. After 3 years I can differentiate between genuine readers and those who just troll with no real value to add. Your comment shows you are just plain biased with no real reason or value to add and even after raghav clearly explained point by point you have no answer to the same but continue with your accusation.

      We are the first to appreciate constructive criticism but I wont tolerate people who have no value to add but just make baseless accusations without even disclosing their identity.

  6. November 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    The grammar which I use in articles is very formal and to the point.I wrote the below points in hurry so grammatical mistakes are possible because I have never been accused of plagiarism in my whole life.Either I do things my way or I don;t do it at all ;)

    At the same time I would say our editor does a great job but you can rest assure both the wordings are mine with very less or negligible editing by our editor.

    And for plagiarism case – I can say only one thing – I would not have lasted more than 200 articles on WATBlog have I gone for it.

    You can keep commenting on my other articles too and look for words & sentences which are copy-pasted cos you will find none. :D

    Pardon my grammar mistakes again :P

  7. Tarang
    November 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    Ok guys. I appreciate what you are doing and I that’s the reason why I come to this website.

    In all honesty I would expect you to give a mature and healthy reaction and not the one I just read above.

    Anyway, to sum it up, the bottomline is:

    What Rupert Murdoch said about de-indexing his sites from Google is a fact.

    What the blogger said about the idea of Rupert and other news publishers going to Bing was a opinion conceived by him and NOT YOU. You cannot put it as your opinion and post a news item.

    Please learn to admit your mistakes and not defend them. It makes you look like a fool.

    • November 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

      Tarang – I agree blogger added his views.. Is that a crime? plagiarism? Isnt a blog about giving views insights and inferences? Im sorry but I dont agree that its a mistake. And the reaction above is because we take pride in our work and dont like people who comment without any value. Criticize the content but with due reason. Also we publish the comments and not delete them. Tell me how many blogs do that?

  8. Tarang
    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    My comment is awaiting moderation?

    Cool, so you will censor free speech? ah….give me a break!

  9. November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm #


    Newscorp is already suffering jolt in advertising revenues cos their argument is simple,Google indeed sends them whole lot of traffic but with high bounce rate (majority not surfing more than 1 pages)thus bringing very less interactions on site.This has resulted in advertisers bargaining for lower pricing in their CPM rates cos most newspaper publishers adopt CPM pricing.Thus they would rather be looking at CPC model in future .

    I doubt if you believe it or not all the PPC regime is currently dictated(led) by Google(cos they are the only big portal-search engine which is garnering highest CPC’s) if anytime Google has to come down it will bring chaos in whole Online advertising industry.

    Any move in charging search engine for indexing is detrimental for search engine business cos you can just imagine hundreds of publishers and social network vouching for Ad pie making search engine business unviable.

    At the same time if indeed Newscorp was to shift its search engine rights advertisers would again cut their advertising rates on site cos now they know for sure that the majority of audience is coming just for free content which they were doubting till now.So both ways they stand to loose after some time as even their search engine partner won’t give them enough importance(monetary compensation in future).

  10. November 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm #


    First go and find out difference between a news site and blog.The blog implies personal opinion ,If we cease to become a blog we would be the same old news site publishing press release and company info.

    Why is it that you never gave something credible to support your charges ??.I hope that makes you look like an idiot.If you had commented the same things on other Indian blogs you would have elicited no response for such nonsensical thing or perhaps be marked as spam but we at WATBlog read every comment and reply to it :)

  11. Arun
    November 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Thanks Raghav .. I don’t quite agree with the view point. My 2 cents…. Newscorp will driver better value of its site with advertisers without being part of Google news. Newscorp has done the maths .. Traffic from Google does not translate into anything meaningful .. the audience does not buy any subscription nor create any stickiness for advertising. Moreover this traffic can be replaced form other sources with greater control and possible retargeting options for Newscorp sites.

    Ad inventory finally boils down to supply v/s demand .. Newscorp can drive a better price with qualified audience ( people have made an effort to reach the website and are serious ) & not just random search engine traffic. A good parallel in the Indian context is the Rediff without the Home page ads . On the PPC market .. Google is the biggest ad network charging on CPC but keen to migrate to a better model ( a separate topic by itself)

    Switching off a search engine from scanning a site is a simple process .. if Newscorp is making a song and dance out of it clearly it is upto something ..either negotiating for better terms with google or driving its price up for association in the market.

    In the fight between the bear and the alligator, its the terrain that chooses the winner .. Newscorp is currently choosing the terrain 

  12. November 17, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

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  13. Tarang
    November 18, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    @Raghav Soni

    The best blogs add comments as they come. The public decides what is spam or shit and marks accordingly. Too bad you dont have that system.

    And you still haven’t addressed the charges against you.

    Pick up things, but give due credit. This is my last comment. You exactly know what I am talking about.

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