His Dow Jones CEO called the search giant a "digital vampire" in June, and Murdoch himself didn't do anything to calm the waters Friday, using an interview with Sky News Australia to affirm murmurings that his company would begin shielding its sites from Google's indexing.
News Corp. is a huge media conglomerate – is Google scared? Notsomuch. The company seems more concerned with which Sesame Street character to feature on its homepage. Google has long made it clear that all it takes is a few simple edits to the "robots.txt" file, and the spiders from Mountain View will scurry on down the road.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said Google News consistently sends news sites about 100,000 clicks a minute, but that no one's forced to be indexed. "Publishers put their content on the web because they want it to be found, so very few choose not to include their material in Google News and web search," the statement said. "But if they tell us not to include it, we don't."
Why wouldn't News Corp. or anyone want a piece of the Google pie? The thinking, Murdoch says, is in quality of visitor. "What's the point of having someone come occasionally who likes a headline they see in Google," Murdoch asked. "The fact is there isn't enough advertising in the world to go around to make all the Web sites profitable. We'd rather have fewer people coming to our Web sites but paying."
One media mogul who shares Murdoch's view? Mark Cuban. The HDNet exec, in a Monday blog post, touted the growing influence that sites like Facebook and Twitter are having on how people get their news. The two sites "are platforms that allow the news sources, like Newscorp, to post breaking news and gain value from their brand. Google does not. In other words, if I trust a newspaper, TV or any brand, I can follow it on Twitter and expect the news to come to me," Cuban writes. "Having to search for and find news in search engines is so 2008," he concludes.
What's your take? Watch the Sky News interview with Rupert Murdoch below, and leave a comment or catch up with us on Twitter.