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Saturday, March 26, 2005

How AFP killed an Online News Site by Suing Google

Remember, last week I wrote about the case when AFP sued Google and asked them to remove any link from their News Side that came from AFP?

Google complied, but now, AFP's customers complain about a decline of visitors to their webpage.

How? Read on - the case of Searchengineguide:

"Google decided to respond to the extortion and stupidity of the lawsuit by actually winning the battle. Google’s response? They stopped syndicating the news from sites using AFP of which this site is one. Not only is our AFP news not syndicated, but our editorials and independent news feeds are also blacklisted. Any news posted after Tuesday morning at 3am cannot be found on Google anywhere. It is a matter of time before the other services that ‘grab’ our news follow suit.

What does this mean for our site? No news aggregation, no news syndication, no news on search engines, no readers can find us, no traffic. Add all this up and you can see the economic value of the site is gone."

It clearly shows that AFP's action didn't make business sense. May be other media companies that try to impose subscription fees on their readers or fight against news aggregators should take note of this case!

(By Asia Business Consulting)