The media world is in a (relative) uproar over what the implications of News Corp. pulling its content off Google would be. But! A three-part Gawker investigation-type thing indicates the impact might be quite minimal for you, the consumer. Observe:
The most popular story on WSJ.com yesterday was their semi-exclusive about Joe Lieberman saying he’s never going to vote for a health care bill with the public option. If you heard about Lieberman making news on health care and went to Google “lieberman public option,” you’d get these results. The shaded red boxes are the News Corp. properties: WSJ.com and Foxnews.com. Those would disappear, but there would be no
shortage of results showing you what Lieberman told the WSJ in the top results.
But let’s say you were really motivated to find the specific Wall Street Journal story about Joe Lieberman derailing health care and you searched “lieberman public option” and “wall street journal.” That would currently bring up the story in question, as well as the Fox News result and an old WSJ blog post. But it would also bring up plenty of other sites that can tell you what was in the WSJ story. Those all likely will also provide a link to the WSJ story, but if they put up the pay wall Murdoch has promised, why would you bother to click through?