22 Sep SEO firms news – The big debate over charging for online content
Online news is currently making its own headlines in the media at present with a debate underway about charging for news sites and search engines announcing improvements to the way news results are served up to readers.
Top SEO firms and organisations will need to evaluate the impact these changes are likely to have on search engine optimisation. If quality sources of news – and links – are fenced off behind subscription firewalls, it remains to be seen at present what impact such a step will have on the world of SEO.
‘Charge or die’ is the simple way to sum up the views of news groups such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp as well as media analysts.
Murdoch claims the BBC News service is unfair competition for media organisations saddled with economic and technological difficulties in the current recession.
He said, “Quality journalism is not cheap and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting.”
But most news publishers believe website readers will not pay for general news content on the Internet – especially in the UK when the BBC provides it for free.
A publishing model believed to have potential is a subscription system implemented by the Financial Times that provides a range of print and digital payment schemes while also offering non-paying readers 10 free articles per month. However, analysts point out that the FT is a specialist publication which lends itself better to a chargeable model.
A range of publishing groups currently evaluating introduction of fees for online content are cited in the world forum for newspaper editors.
Whatever is proposed and subsequently actioned, the million dollar question is: “Will ‘paid for’ online content systems generate revenue?” If they don’t, financial problems for publishers can only become increasingly dire.