Google 'humiliates' publishers

Thu 16 July 2009 15:31, Bas van den Beld

Google 'humiliates' publishers

Last week a group of European publishers joined forces by signing the “Hamburg Declaration”  and asking the EC to help out when it comes to strengthen the copyrights of newspapers.

It has been widely known that newspapers are struggling to keep their heads up and are looking for ways to monetize their content. The newspapers have failed to find the right business model for the new way people are gathering their news these days. The lack of that business model now can be seen by the 'death' of several newspapers. And what happenes next? Newspapers start to point at others, especcially search engines. Wednesday Google responded with a big hit back at the newspapers. In a 'simple' blogpost Google told off the newspapers with two simple lines:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

 

The struggle of the newspapers against search engines is not new. Already in 2007 Belgian newspaper Copiepresse wanted their content removed from Google and the same newspaper sued Google again a year later, this time for money.

That years later the newspapers still are pointing at the search engines, claiming they are in a way 'stealing' their content is a sign that the papers don't know which way to go. It's like a cat caught in a corner: it's jumping every way it can.

The blogpost Google wrote yesterday was a first sight a simple post to point out that it's easy for the publishers to pull their content from Google by using robots.txt. But reading the post with the knowledge that most search marketers have it seems clear this is just Google saying: "get over it, we don't need you". With pointing out the easy way to get the content out of Google, Google is in a way humiliating the newspaper.


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