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Watch what you read on that website

by Prasad — last modified Apr 02, 2011 02:10 PM
Google has decided to give newspapers better control over their content appearing on the search engine but netizens don’t seem too pleased about it, says an article by NT Balanarayan of DNA on December 9, 2009

While many newspaper heads are rejoicing Google's decision  to provide more control over their content appearing on the search engine, netizens don't seem too pleased about it.

More than Murdoch's stand demanding visitors to pay for news, what surprised most was the fact that Google made it easier for them to do so. "Anyone who owns a website knows that they can add or remove their content from search engines by modifying the robots.txt file, and that's what newspapers like Wall Street Journal should have done. But instead, many newspapers kept blaming search engines for their falling readership. Now that Google's provided such a tool, they have no more reason to complain," Jayant M, a city-based blogger says.

First Click Free, a tool from Google lets users view a limited number of articles on a website before being asked to register or to pay up to move ahead. But this tool again uses browser cache and cookies to keep track of how many stories a visitor has viewed. This can easily be overcome by clearing the cache or by using another browser. Google spoke out after an initial rumour of Microsoft holding talks with News Corp for exclusive indexing of the news sites on their Bing search engine gained traction. Microsoft later denied any such move.

"It's not like I'm not ready to pay a news website for news. But I wouldn't pay a news service for a few stories once in a while. I'll readily pay a local newspaper, if they demand a reasonable amount and provided it's not just agency news that's thrown my way," Suresh Nayak, a Bangalore-based techie says.

A few are ready to pay for content online, but a lot of people say they'll depend on other sources like blogs which provide news for free. "Mostly, in a newspaper, I don't read the full story because I get most of the information from the first few paragraphs. There are a lot of bloggers who post the most important news snippets on their blogs too. That is enough information most of the time," Jayant adds.

According to Sunil Abraham, executive director at Bangalore-based Centre of Internet and Society, every generation brings in disruptive new models which affect the existing ones. New business models are coming up and the ongoing discussions between search engines like Bing, Google and newspapers is just a part of it.

"As far as India is concerned, the question is not whether the media will provide their content for free or not, but if they come with a medium which can sustain them. It could be paid, ad-based or even based on a system where search engines pay for indexing them," he says.

Link to the original article


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