For the past month, Rupert Murdoch’s little kerfuffle with Google has been the center of a heated debate about how content should be aggregated.
First, the News Corp. boss grouchily warned that his newspapers’ content would be pulled from Google’s news feed, then he was reportedly working to strike an exclusive deal with Microsoft’s rival search engine Bing. Yet Murdoch continued to place ads for The Wall Street Journal on Google, and then Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt wrote an op-ed in the very same paper explaining how ridiculous Murdoch’s assumptions of content theft are.
Now, Google has fired off another round of damage control, once again putting it in layman’s terms for ailing media execs: their company is here to help, not hurt, the news industry.
In today’s New York Observer, Josh Cohen, Google News’ senior business project manager, said of the Murdoch situation:
“The vast, vast majority of publishers recognize that we’re a real partner in these challenges…You can put up a pay wall and still have your content discovered within Google — it’s not an either/or proposition.”
Google, which previously provided a loophole in its “First Click Free” access that allowed savvy Internet users to read pay walled content without paying, has now fixed that issue to quell publishers’ fears. In Google’s blog last week, Cohen wrote, “Want to block images from Google News, but not from Web Search? Go ahead. Want to include snippets in Google News, but not in Web Search? Feel free.”
Previously, it had seemed like Google was going to just give the brush-off to moguls like Murdoch that didn’t get that a news search engine wasn’t the exact same thing as a news aggregator, which sometimes take entire articles from a site and repost them. But now it looks like the company is taking a softer stance and is willing to placate its news providers in order to keep some of the ad revenue generated by its news feed.
Read More: The Man at Google News Just Wants to Help —New York Observer