When Rupert Murdoch announced that he was thinking of taking his News Corp web properties out of the Google search index , speculation as to Microsoft and Bing's involvement was rampant. Turns out, there might have actually been something to the rumors for once. According to the folks over at The Financial Times , Microsoft is willing to grease Murdoch palms to go exclusive with Bing, a move that newspapers will no doubt welcome.
The idea is essentially to force Google to pay for content, something it has historically never done. The news certainly came to the disappointment of Google which tends to endorse the "openness of the web", but Google's UK director Matt Brittin told a conference last week that Google doesn't need news content to stay afloat. "Economically it's not a big part of how we generate revenue" he said. In the end Google will likely still gain indirect access to the content by crawling third party websites that link to News Corp stories, but it will certainly impact Google News and start a new and possibly disturbing trend.
Steve Ballmer has admitted that he is willing to spend heavily for many years to make Bing a serious rival to Google, and Rupert Murdoch is but one of many struggling old media mongrels eager to cash in on the competition in search. If the two parties do end up inking an agreement, expect to see Bing advertise heavily as the only place to find The Wall Street Journal and possibly more deals to come.
Will this earn Bing market share? And what effect do you think this will have on the open web?