Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Goolge, Kiss My . . . | Tags: google, Google First Click, Microsoft, News Corporation, Newscorp, Rupert Murdoch | Comments Off
This week, Google launched First Click a program that allows publishers to limit users’ free access to no more than five paid articles per day. Rupert Murdoch must be having a good old chuckle right about now. The News Corp chairman appears to have won a small victory against Google.
Previously this month News Corp criticized the search behemoth for giving Internet users free access to the publisher’s premium paid content. In the past two days, Google has released new tools that give publishers back control over how people view their online stories through its search engine.
“Some publishers have asked: Should we put up pay walls or keep our articles in Google News and Google Search? In fact, they can do both–the two aren’t mutually exclusive,” wrote Josh Cohen, a senior business product manager at Google.
On Wednesday, Google released another new feature that allows publishers to opt out of Google News. This latest concession, however, may turn out to be a symbolic gesture to publishers. “It’s not likely most users will notice any difference as a result of the change, unless a large number of publishers decide to abandon Google News,” says David Coursey of PC World ::::
Still, others think the move is a significant initial victory for publishers. “By playing hardball, [Murdoch] appears to have got the Google to blink,” says Rory Cellan-Jones of BBC News.
Murdoch has reportedly been in talks with Microsoft MSFT over a deal in which the tech company would pay News Corp. to index its news content on the Bing search engine. The media mogul has also threatened to “de-list” News Corp.’s content from Google.
Cellan-Jones summarized the latest Google-Murdoch intrigue this way: “Round One to Murdoch then–but there’s a long way to go in this contest.”