Murdoch suggests removing Fox news from Googles indexMikey 7 comments
In what might be considered online suicide by many, Fox news boss that he plans to have the Fox news web site removed from search engine indexes.
Murdoch's grand idea is the paid subscription model, and he's banking on people willing to pay to read Fox news. I know a lot of you are probably laughing at such an idea, and maybe rightfully so.
But assuming Murdoch is serious about this, what would the removal of Fox news results from Google mean? Me personally - nothing. I think Murdoch is a dinosaur trying to maintain archaic practices in modern times, and that he may have forgotten one of the primary beauties of the internet, which is: if you find a web site that asks for your money, you leave it in search of a site that offers the same (often better) service for free. And there's no shortage of those.
So what does he hope to achieve by being invisible to search engines? I'm hard pushed to think of any real advantage. But I can think of a few disadvantages.
For starters, assuming a significantly lower number of users would be visiting the site (because most people won’t spend money for news from any source), it will be exceedingly difficult to convince advertisers to keep paying for those premium spots on the Fox web site.
Secondly, while there are other popular sites that offer paid subscriptions (The Wall Street Journal comes to mind), exactly none of them went to the extreme of getting de-indexed on search engines. You should at least let your articles be found in a search, and then advise the user the site is a paid subscription service when they arrive and let them make the choice. How else are people going to know about Fox news online? Word of mouth?
I like to think Murdoch surrounds himself with some smart people so they've probably already thought of those reasons and many more, so assuming he is serious about this idea, it will be interesting to see how it turns out and if other online media outlets see any benefit in following.