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Google to Restrict News & Can Gears

Gordon Kelly


Google to Restrict News & Can Gears

All change at Google this week...

In something of a first it seems the search giant is preparing to tow the line by both scaling back the reach of Google News and dropping its own Gears technology for the HTML5 industry standard.

News first and in aiming to pacify a certain angry Australian publishing mogul, Google Senior Business Product Manager Josh Cohen has announced Google will adjust its existing ‘First Click Free’ software “so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing.”

“If you're a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after you've clicked through to more than five articles on the website of a publisher using First Click Free in a day,” he continued. “We think this approach still protects the typical user from cloaking, while allowing publishers to focus on potential subscribers who are accessing a lot of their content on a regular basis.”

Previously First Click Free rather sneakily gave users access to subscription only content ‘for the first click’. On top of this Google will also index any free preview pages on a subscription site and label such stories as ‘subscription’ on Google News. Will Murdock be happy? I suspect he’ll just see it as his first step towards victory (which I doubt).

Secondly, it seems Google Gears is for the chop (grind?!)

Speaking to PC Magazine, Google Engineering director Linus Upson admitted: "We're very focused on moving HTML5 forward, and that's where we're putting all of our energy. When we started the Gears project, we did it because we couldn't get the browser vendors interested in building offline applications. And so, so we said, okay, we'll build a plugin that could do it. And lo and behold, once we shipped Gears, suddenly the browser vendors got very interested in adding capabilities to build offline applications. You can almost think of what's in HTML5, with app cache, and database, and those things, as essentially Gears 2, and that's how we view it.”

In short: goodbye Gears you were wonderful bridging software. In all fairness this makes a great deal of sense and it’s good to see Google admitting that an open platform is the way forward.

It was beautiful while it lasted...


Google News Blog Post

via PC Mag


December 3, 2009, 5:12 am

Poor move by Google. Murdoch is a wingeing girl. Delisting from Google is very straightforward. Just a matter of changing a little code to stop the spiders from crawling the site. If he was really serious about charging for news he's have done this instead of complaining.

In an age where actual newspapers are available free charging for new is going to be very challenging.

Steve Austin

December 3, 2009, 12:50 pm

@ravmania: "Delisting from Google is very straightforward."

And how much traffic and potential revenue do you reckon he'd lose in the process? Asking google not to look at you at all is, these days, tantamount to saying 'I don't want to be a public website'

"actual newspapers are available free"

Compare the free newspapers to those that still charge. One contains adverts and gossip with the occasional piece of local news. The other contains a great deal of well written news-worthy journalism (Note - Sun etc. excluded)

Just my 2p :-)


December 3, 2009, 2:52 pm

@Steve Austin: "And how much traffic and potential revenue do you reckon he'd lose in the process? Asking google not to look at you at all is, these days, tantamount to saying 'I don't want to be a public website'"

I think this is the point - lots. Why didn't Google play hard and de-list Murdoch's sites, putting him in the cold to perish?


December 3, 2009, 2:54 pm

The only way Murdoch could charge for anything is to abandon print I think, video news. I only read the headlines and the facts I choose to skip the waffle, am I going to pay for any news service? No from my point of view and would I stick around for a video? No on that too, why Kay Burley and Sky News are trash too.

The recent Tiger Woods saga was pure comedy the Tiger obituary was readied, in the end it was just a scratch. "He WAS fantastic,prolific,iconic a true role model blah blah". Well they found some mud to sling in the end.

Googled Steve Austin - maps confirmed two potential hotspots Fleet Street & Wapping home to "well written news-worthy journalism" and images picked up a brown shorted man wrestling with a monster LOL

No news is good news for me :)


December 3, 2009, 3:30 pm

Murdoch could easily add the code and have google not spider his pages but he doesn't want that as he would lose vast amounts of click through. He is all mouth and no trousers at the moment as he is trying to co-op the industry into a paying model without making it look like a cartel. I'm assuming his profits are down and that's why he is now on the offensive against Google, ABC, BBC etc etc.


December 3, 2009, 4:42 pm

Grrr. Murdock. Bad man. Boo hiss.

I do value the op-ed which is missing from most of the free ad-supported papers, but Murdoch's current method of defending this just sucks of a lack of imagination.


December 3, 2009, 5:19 pm

The Guardian article covering Murdoch's intentions (published one or two weeks ago) committed to keeping the Guardian available without charge.


December 3, 2009, 5:58 pm

Good if it means there will be fewer people being directed to his newspaper sites far right neocon bile. It also smacks of desperation from a man who has up intil now got most of major business decisions right but seems lost in the internet age. The icing on the cake would be for his empire to collapse around him while hes still living his wretched life.


December 3, 2009, 9:26 pm

It's fairly clear what happened, news international threatened to de-list themselves from the google crawlers, and to continue to allow Bing. Suddenly zero news when searching with google ( relatively ) and Bing searches continue to return news results and articles.

Faced with this google backed down - and i don't blame them

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