News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has suggested the company's online newspaper pages – including FoxNews.com, whose parent is News Corp. — will be invisible to Google users when it launches its new paid content strategy.
He claimed that readers who randomly reach a page via an Internet search hold little value to advertisers.
When asked by Sky News Australia's political editor David Speers why News Corp has not stopped Google from finding its content, Mr Murdoch replied: "I think we will."
He cited the Wall Street Journal as an example of where only the first paragraph comes up on search engines and is free. Anything after that is subscription-based.
He is planning to make newspapers like The Times and Sunday Times chargeable online.
Using the robots.txt protocol on a site indicates to automated web spiders such as Google's not to index that particular page or to serve up links to it in users' search results.
As well as Google, he criticised other sites like Microsoft and Ask.com for also taking a free ride on News Corp.'s content — "the people who just simply pick up everything and run with it — steal our stories ... without payment," he claimed.
He said: "There's not enough advertising in the world to make all the Websites profitable. We'd rather have fewer people coming to our Websites but paying.
"There are no news Websites or blog Websites anywhere in the world making any serious money, some may be breaking even or making a couple of million."
Referring to people finding News Corp. stories via search engines, he said: "When they click it, they get the page with the story that's in our paper. Who knows who they are or where they are? They don't suddenly become loyal readers of our content."
He then turned his attention to the BBC, saying it was a "scandal" that everyone with a TV was "compelled" to pay a licence fee. He said although the BBC did not charge for its own online content, it was the taxpayer who was ultimately paying for it.