Newspaper publishers want the best of both worlds. They want the traffic that Google can deliver, but also think that the search engine owes them something. Specifically: “A fair share of the revenues being generated through the commercial exploitation of our content”.
Well, newsflash: Google owes the newspapers nothing. And now it has openly told the newspapers how to block web pages from the search engines by using the robots.txt no-inclusion protocol. If they want to, that is. There’s a barrier for those who want it. Now put up, or shut up.
Of course this isn’t new to anybody, but Google’s stance, as paidContent puts it, “effectively raises a middle finger to the 169 signatories to the Hamburg Declaration on Intellectual Property Rights, including Dow Jones managing editor Robert Thomson and News Corp Europe CEO James Murdoch”.
It’s going to be interesting to see if even one of those 169 signatories, or any other major newspaper, is actually brave, dumb and ballsy enough to take Google up on its offer. What’s the betting? I’ll wager that not one of them will go ahead with this.