It certainly looks that way if Rupert Murdoch, now the owner of Wall Street Journal, and Microsoft, the owner of the Google-alternative search engine named Bing, have their way. Here’s the story from the Washington Post and Techcrunch and a take on it from Social Media analysis site Mashable.
The idea is media companies, led by Murdoch and WSJ, would strip their content from Google unless Google would anty up to pay them to provide searches to their content. Microsoft which is stooping to some desperation to try to take market share from Google has been exceptionally eager to say to Mr. Murdoch, hey, Bing will pay you.
What will happen? I agree with Erik Schonfeld of TechCrunch: Exclusive indexing goes against the Web’s inherent openness. Companies that try to curtail that openness don’t last long on the Web.
I think this very overt attempt to steal market share by violating the most basic tenet of the web which is free content for all is doomed and not only that, but puts Microsoft at some reputation risk. I’m not sure that Murdoch faces the same reputation risk as Microsoft in this. First, he doesn’t have to worry that much about ticking off the internet crowd as Microsoft does and who can blame a mainstream mogul from trying to figure out a way to stay in business? I hope that major news gathering organizations like WSJ find a way to survive and I think they will–but I don’t thing they will by violating basic values of the people they are trying to serve. Find another way, guys. This one is doomed.