When you do a Google search using keywords on business or web companies, it is likely that you will find articles by TechCrunch, Mashable, Pulse2, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal on the top pages. This is because Google favors these online publications for providing users with valuable content. We benefit from people doing these searches and finding our websites and so do all the other blogs out there. That means more ad revenue for us. The more hits you get on the web, the more money you make. Its a simple formula. If Rupert Murdoch wants to remove The Wall Street Journal from Google, so be it. Thats less competition for us.
Personally I think it is an idiotic move for the WSJ to cut themselves off from Google since they supposedly receive 25% of their traffic from the search engine. However Murdoch would rather have a smaller amount of paid traffic than a larger number of people looking at content for free according to the interview. How will people find it if they don’t know it exists? Will cutting yourself from the world make people just give in and pay? It is highly unlikely because more people are starting to get their content online than pay for it. If you don’t believe me, ask someone that works for your local newspaper. I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and The Ann Arbor News basically went out of business. The Ann Arbor News cut off the circulation to only Thursday and Sunday and changed their name to AnnArbor.com. Some of the staff members at The Ann Arbor News were absorbed into AnnArbor.com and the rest were laid off.
People may argue that they are willing to pay for content online assuming it is credible journalism. The Wall Street Journal has been a household brand for well over a century now so that proves that they are credible. But they started in a time when the invention of a computer was just a dream. Welcome to 2009, Murdoch. Its going to be a bumpy ride for print companies.