Bing trying to get exclusive on Fox…smart

Mark Cuban · November 25, 2009 · Short URL:

Why Bing paying Fox to de-list from Google can be a significant first step and can work

Ok, I am getting bored talking about Fox and Google.  But as things pop up, like news in the media saying that Microsoft is trying to entice Fox to “de-list” from Google, I can't pass up posting on it.  Particularly when it makes so much sense.

Here is why Bing paying Fox to de-list from Google can be a significant first step and can work:

First, Bing doesn’t need to get the most popular sites to join Fox in de-listing. They need the most popular searches in the categories they want to impact.

Bing just has to corner the market on specific categories.  If they are able to corner some little corners, say sites about auto news, by paying bloggers and news sites in this category to go exclusive with Bing, they can trumpet it loud and far that if you want information about a new car, you have to go to Bing because, “they don't take Google.” (Did Visa’s They Don't Take Amex ad campaign work?”)

Or they can target to pay sites about Mesothelioma and other diseases that ambulance chasers covet and pay huge dollars per click through, or other high paying PPC searches. The advertisers for these categories go where they can get the most clicks.  It won't change market share, but it could change how the battle between Google and Bing is fought. If they can win enough categories, all of the sudden they have some bragging rights that set a platform for people to question Google's positioning.

Then consider Microsoft's first move on Twitter and their investment in Facebook as an indicator they could be looking to stake out a position in the value of real-time information.

Which makes the public positions of AP and Reuters and other top news sites all the more interesting.  One thing they all have in common? They don't like the way Google has treated them and they all need money.  To think they won't jump aboard and grab a cash offer from Microsoft that precludes Google is crazy.  For the right amount of money you can get them to shut out Google and restrict downstream access of their content to Google faster than they can say, “Google Who?”  That's how bad they need the money AND dislike Google, (this isn't just about news, Google Scholar is going after  Reuter’s Westlaw as an example). Just as critical, I don't think it takes a relatively large amount to get them on board.  Given the volume of news these two companies create, impacting the positioning of Google is not as far fetched as some may like to think.

Many, like Henry Blodgett on Silicon Insider correctly make the point that news from de-listed sites will eventually find its way on to other sites and into the Google Index.  But after how long?

If Reuters and AP de-list, it will be a lot longer than you think.  If you haven't noticed, the number of reporters generating original reporting is falling like a rock.  Much of the news you think is original content is re-posted from Reuters and AP.  If Google doesn't have access to their output, they will have to wait for someone to actually re-write the story, probably after reading it on an AP or Reuters customer site (it's called  plagiarism to some, fair use to others) and post it.  Without question there will be a lag time.  Which may be all that MicroSing needs.  You can get ALL the news you need on Bing NOW, or you can wait, and wait, and wait for it on Google.

Getting news first has been a position of value that has worked for a long, long time.  No reason to think it might not work again here.

And finally, Google already has a problem in that they do a horrible job of blocking spam in their date sorted results.  Removing valid results is going to make their date sorted results look even worse.

De-list a few key sites.  Win a few categories.  Offer the news first.  Make the people you pay to de-list also make Bing their default on site search engine.  You just never know. Stranger things have happened. Like we say in sports.  That's why we play the games.

So Bing just might have a shot.

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