Rupert Murdoch has said that his Newscorp sites
are going to block Google indexes. Of course, all the netizens freak out when this happens. Which I love.
I love to tweak all the Internet information must be free bigots. They get so damn religious about information on the net that they lose what little objectivity and awareness of the real world they had in the first place. First a little enlightenment for all of you that think Murdoch is making a mistake. This is not 1999, nor is it 2004, nor is it 2006, nor is it 2008. The calendar is about to turn to 2010. What worked and made sense three, five and 10 years ago, no longer does.
What has changed? Quite a bit, but lets start with this. TWITTER IS SURPASSING GOOGLE as a destination for finding information on breaking and recent news of all types. Whats more, TWITTER POSSES NO THREAT to any destination news site. 140 characters does not a story make. Find it on Twitter, link to a story on say, Fox News and everyone is happy. The same concept applies to Facebook Links. Twitter and Facebook are not news destinations that can compete with traditional news sources. Google is. Rupert loves him some Twitter. Google, not so much.
Not only are Twitter and Facebook becoming strong competitors for referrals to news sources from topical searches, they both have one HUGE, HUGE, HUGE advantage for news outlets that Google does not:
Twitter and Facebook are platforms that allow the news sources, like News Corp. to post breaking news and gain value from their brand. Google does not. In other words, if I trust a newspaper, TV or any brand, I can follow it on Twitter and expect the news to come to me. The concept of, “If the news is important, it will find me,” works better by the day. If it matters to me, chances are very good it's in one of the Twitter feeds I follow.
Having to search for and find news in search engines is so 2008.
Twitter and Facebook have become the ultimate real time programming guides. Look at it like this. “Hear about bubble boy from a follow." If: “its a news source, go to that news source.” If not: “Look it up on Twitter (or i use icerocket.com it shows tweeter authority) to see if there are any first hand accounts or check my FB wall to see what my friends have to say, if anything.” “See tweets/posts to determine how I want to get more information: from TV (stream, regular, phone), or from online written or audio source,” if online: “go to that source from link in Twitter or Facebook.”
All of the above complements everything Rupert and News Corp. are doing. Google is no where to be found in that equation.
That's not to say Twitter is perfect. It's not. It has a HUGE and growing problem with spam (unlike Facebook updates and another reason why I pimp Icerocket.com). Nor am I saying that Google is toast and has no role. Non real-time feed users will continue to source news through Google. I just see that as a declining number in an era where much of our first crack at news is via our phone. But, perfect or not, the bottom line is that in this new era of Twitter, things have changed.
News sites blocking Google ain’t what it used to be. Rupert is right. Deal with it.