Rupert Murdoch has suggested that News Corporation is likely to make its content unfindable to users on Google when it launches its paid content strategy .
When Murdoch and other senior News Corp lieutenants have criticised aggregators such as Google for taking a free ride on its content, commentators have questioned why the company doesn’t simply make its content invisible to search engines.
Using the robots.txt protocol on a site indicates to automated web spiders such as Google’s not to index that particular page or to serve up links to it in users’ search results.
Murdoch claimed that readers who randomly reach a page via search have little value to advertisers. Asked by Sky News political editor David Speers why News hasn’t therefore made its sites invisible to Google, Murdoch replied: “I think we will.”
Although he has previously talked at length about the role of aggregators, it is one of the first times Murdoch has discussed actually removing content from the search engines.