meta name=googlebot content=noindex

I’ve been on my hols for a couple of weeks, and while I have the simmering antipathy between the news media and Google has broken into open warfare with the release of the dramatically entitled Hamburg Declaration. A document in which a broad assortment of European publishers (roughly speaking) argue that Google news and other such aggregators are stealing their intellectual property.

Google’s response can be summarised as follows:

<meta name=”googlebot” content=”noindex”>

(i.e. change your metatags to stop the Googlebot indexing your site – something any site owner can do.)

Here’s the full Google rebuttal of the Hamburg Declaration.

Personally speaking, I tend to support Google in this argument. Hyperlinks are the web. Aggregators send a great deal of traffic to newspaper sites. It is up to them to monetise this traffic.

Rather than wasting time attacking Google, the newspapers would be better off working with them to grow business and develop new revenue streams.

2 comments about “meta name=googlebot content=noindex

  1. James says:

    Classic. The pompously named Hamburg Declaration is a PDF. Google’s response is an HTML page.

    If they can’t work out the best way to present such content online, is it any wonder that the newspapers are having trouble understanding the value Google brings?

  2. John says:

    It’s a declaration of war. A war over internet content.

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