The Power of Google

news versus google

Last September Belgian newspapers complained about being included in Google News and cache, and got a court ruling to force Google to remove those newspapers from their services. Their shakedown didn't work: Google showed them who’s boss by banning the newspapers altogether from Google Belgium’s search results. Last week Google and some of the newspaper press groups reached an accord; I guess Google's tactic worked.

I'm not surprised. What idiots these press are! Google only showed snippets of news stories and then directed users to the publications’ Web sites to read the full story. Google was doing them an unpaid-for service and favor. The right thing for all search engines to do with morons such as these who want to get paid for their content to be indexed is to cut them out entirely and let them wither and die.

First of all, it's very easy to opt out of indexing and caching on Google or anyone else. You don't have to go to court; a simple entry in your robots.txt file and poof: indexing and caching are gone.

I tried it myself. I disallowed any indexing of my site on November 13th and my traffic plummeted. See the graph below.

blog visitors

I normally average about 2,500 page views a day. A few days after cutting off indexing and caching, my page views fell as much as 60%. Unless you enjoy obscurity why would you want Google to leave you alone? On December 2nd I reset my robots.txt file back to allowing indexing and miraculously my traffic is coming back.

Just FYI, here is the breakdown of where I get my traffic from:

Google 17.6%
Yahoo! 5.1%
MSN 2.9%
Others 1.4%

Or 27.0 % from keyword searches on all search engines:

Although my search visitors dropped by at least 27% this resulted in over 60% of page views since my average search reader looks at 2.2 pages of my blog. Routine visitors from blogs and photo searches tend to read only the one page linked to.


Flickr 11.4%
Icerocket 2.9%
Eurekster 9.1%
Technorati 4.3%
Metacafe 0.5%
Alta Vista 1.7%
Digg/Delicious,etc 0.3
image searches 6.5%
Or 36.7% from Tag / social / or photo searches

Returning Readers clicking on favorites or bookmarks 5.6%
From email links 0.4%
*Forums 7.4%
myspace 0.3%
From blogs 19.7%
Unknown 2.2%

* Visitors from forums spike up to 33% of visits sometimes depending on topic. The above is an average.


Tech Dirt - Could Newspaper Owners Really Be This Clueless?, Excerpt: Just as stories are hitting the press about slow-to-innovate newspapers finally embracing the internet comes the news that a bunch of newspapers are quite upset that Google drives more traffic to their websites. This isn't a first. Last year, AFP sued Google over the same issue -- and Google yanked AFP stories out of their news index. This meant that newspapers that carried AFP stories lost out on a lot of valuable traffic. So, why are more newspapers trying to go down the same path? It would appear that like book publishers and telcos, they're all jealous of Google's ability to make money. The quotes from all three are almost identical.

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