It is being reported that Microsoft is trying to pay News Corp. to “de-index” their search results from Google. Rupert Murdoch (billionaire tyrant) has hinted that he’d like to prevent Google from spidering the websites for the companies that News Corp. controls. Ironically enough, what he wants can be done today for free using the appropriate rules in robots.txt.
If this report is true, it sure seems like a desperate attempt to gain search engine market share by Microsoft. What might really happen if this deal goes through? I’ve got to believe that viewership at the various sites would drop considerably. “The masses” know how to use Google to find stuff. If the stuff they’re looking for disappears, will they be willing (or knowledgeable enough) to use Bing to find it? I’m not sure that’s the case. Should this scenario play out, I can see things going one of two ways: either Microsoft wins and gains market share, or both Microsoft and News Corp. lose big time.
Gizmodo has a good take on this situation, claiming simply that, in the end, we’ll all lose. This will definitely be an interesting thing to watch in the coming months.