Thursday, May 7, 2009

Execs reveal why newspapers don't block Google

Greg Sandoval writes:

In all the very public bashing of Google, however, few if any of the critics has answered why they don't just cut Google out of the equation by preventing the search engine from indexing their Web pages. The task could be accomplished by inserting a single line of code into their URLs. If Forbes.com added a line such as forbes.com/robots.txt, content from the site would be rendered invisible to Google.

Representatives from the Journal and AP declined to comment for this story, but their Web sites speak volumes for them. None of the companies has severed ties with Google and risked losing access to the search engine's millions of users. Traditional print publications, which have seen ad revenue plummet, mass layoffs, and in some cases the shut down of operations, are now hopelessly dependent on Google to lure readers, says media executives. Jim Brady, the Washington Post's former digital chief says the question of whether Google is good or bad for print journalism is almost irrelevant at this point. Print publications are helpless to do anything about it.


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