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Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact (ft.com)
12 points by mjfern on Nov 23, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

I can't see this working. I believe that the sums needed by websites to forgo Google-sourced revenue are likely to be overestimated by the sites themselves, and would require Bing to overpay, even though accurately measured costs would still likely be enormous.

Mark Cuban wrote a little about this recently:


He estimates 125k sites at 1,000 USD average per site, with that distribution favouring larger sites.

Thing is, my sole significant web presence is my occasionally updated blog with a mere few hundred subscribers, but even I wouldn't take 1,000 USD to delist it from Google - and that wouldn't be what's on offer for my end of the spectrum.

It's simply too dangerous not to be found. If you did a search for a key phrase, and it didn't turn up in Google, would you turn to Bing or some other search engine? Not likely for me: I would rather think that the site had gone out of business, or has some technical issue, or a malware infection, or something similar long before looking at these kinds of business issues.

It's like not showing up in the yellow pages, or a storefront disappearing from a casual stroll down Main St. To accept a bribe like this marks you out as a non-serious business, IMHO.

Murdoch seems to think that people use Google to search Murdoch's sites.

By Murdoch's logic, clearly if he withdraws his sites from Google, people will stop using Google to search his sites. But hardly anyone using Google has the intention of "searching his sites". People just want information--most people don't care which site has the information as long as it's good information.

If Murdoch pulls out of Google that just means fewer people will visit Murdoch's sites. Nobody is going to give a toss about the fact that Fox won't show up on Google. This entire strategy suggests that Murdoch misunderstands his own readers.

I can only see this bringing more eyeballs to Newscorp's rivals and wasting microsoft's money.

...and News corp not going bankrupt, and the eyeballs having no choice but to go to the remaining news sources.

This makes me think of what Paul Graham said in his "Apples Mistake". This is going to dig Microsoft deeper into the Evil hole. Just when people started to forget how much they hate Microsoft and how embarrassing it is to work there...

"Should Apple care what people like me think? What difference does it make if they alienate a small minority of their users?

There are a couple reasons they should care. One is that these users are the people they want as employees. If your company seems evil, the best programmers won't work for you. That hurt Microsoft a lot starting in the 90s. Programmers started to feel sheepish about working there. It seemed like selling out. When people from Microsoft were talking to other programmers and they mentioned where they worked, there were a lot of self-deprecating jokes about having gone over to the dark side. But the real problem for Microsoft wasn't the embarrassment of the people they hired. It was the people they never got. And you know who got them? Google and Apple." -http://paulgraham.com/apple.html

This may be a publicity opportunity taken by Microsoft: a great opportunity to credit bing with having better results. Here is the interview about pulling down links from google:


What do you think they're thinking?

MS could possibly bring all big news companies to Bing, create a news vertical and share revenue with the news companies. Then if you want news search, have to use Bing.

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