Bing! Microsoft appears to have opened a new frontline in its battle against Google in search.
According to the FT, the software giant has been talking with News Corp about a plan to “de-index” its news websites from Google. Microsoft is putting its money where it matters — by offering to pay News Corp money to do just that, showing the industry that it’s not afraid to use cash to buy search market share.
The story follows an odd but provoking hint by News Corp’s Chairman Rupert Murdoch who suggested he was ready to de-index his content from search engines.
In essence, this creates value for content in the search business where there wasn’t an obvious one. But really, what can Microsoft achieve from all this? Ultimately, the company is merely throwing cash at brands; it can’t buy the news. The move, if true, also creates a huge opportunity for believers in search to continue distributing their content via queries. And they may well thrive.