Is Microsoft Taking the Bite as Murdoch Comes A-Wooing?
Google, as we all know, controls the major bulk of search engine traffic on the Internet.
According to a Reuters report, Berstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay estimated that 14 percent of incoming traffic go to News Corp's news websites in the US.
Google controls 65 percent of the US search market, according to data analyst firm comScore.
If Murdoch went ahead to block Google from indexing news content on News Corp's websites, it could be detrimental to the media czar's news organizations.
That is the general opinion of most web analysts. They believe Google is too well entrenched as "master of the search universe" to feel threatened by Murdoch's sabre-rattling.
Nevertheless, it appears that Murdoch is adamant to carry out his "contain Google" strategy.
His attempt to woo Microsoft is raising some eyebrows.
Microsoft-News Corp Alliance
Talks are believed to be going on between News Corp and Microsoft to form an alliance that would sideline Google. Really? We'll just have to wait and see.
The idea, as widely suggested, is that News Corp will exclusively have its news content listed with Microsoft's Bing search engine after dumping Google.
Ouch, if that could hurt the Mountain View search behemoth!
Here's the rub. To have exclusivity of News Corp's news content, Microsoft would have to pay for the privilege, sources told Reuters. Now I'm just wondering who is doing who the favour?
With this partnership, one pertinent question is: Would Microsoft be throwing a lot of money to News Corp?
There are some concern that Microsoft might be paying more money than what it's worth if it takes the plunge.
Industry watchers acknowledged that the arrangement could increase Bing's share of the lucrative search advertising market at Google's expense.
According to comScore's September data, Microsoft has 10 percent share of the US search market.
Speculation is rife, but it seems Microsoft is not saying anything that's concrete yet.
Still, all the discussions are like snow flakes drifting down slowly as Yuletide draws near.
These are desperate times for news publishers as they face dropping circulation, subscriptions and ad revenue.
News Corp is no exception, and radical moves are seen as a way out of the newspaper doldrums.
Would it help Murdoch's cause if other US publishers jump on his bandwagon?
Industry watchers are doubtful they would all come together and even if they do, Reuters quoted Jeff Jarvis, media blogger and author of the book "What Would Google Do?", as saying: "It would be a mosquito bite on the elephant's butt." - Markk