Microsoft is apparently reaching out to top online publishers and trying to get them to agree an exclusive deal that their content is only indexed on Bing and not any other search engines.
The FT today comfirms this by saying
‘Financial Times has learnt that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine.’
So Microsoft has approached the FT then. The interesting part is which other companies Microsoft has approached. Even if it knows the FT isn’t saying.
The move comes off the back of Rupert Murdoch’s plans for Google to deindex all News International’s online content. The agreement with Microsoft could mean that for the first time a search engine company has paid to index news stories.
For Microsoft it could give the company a much needed unique feature for its Bing search engine in that it could become a hub for news. The key for the company though is whether other publishers will follow News International.
If Microsoft pulls this off it could prove to be a very effective strategy, but it is likely to be a very expensive one too.
As Murdoch himself says
“If they were to pay everybody for everything they took, from every newspaper in the world and every magazine they wouldn’t have any profits left,” he said.