Sir Rupert Murdoch said he may remove his company’s newspaper stories from Google’s search index files.

According to Murdoch, the move would encourage people to pay for News Corp content online. Industry commentators have raised questions about how this may impact newspaper content’s relevance given that many people discover it via search. The removal would include content from the Wall Street Journal.

I think weve been asleep… It costs us a lot of money to put together good newspapers and good content. Theyre very happy to pay for it when they buy a newspaper, and I think when they read it elsewhere theyre going to have to pay. Not huge sums. Youd be surprised how much can be done, how cheaply, into the average home, said Murdoch.

According to Hitwise, 25% of the daily traffic to Wall Street Journal’s is directed via Google and Google News. The Hitwise analysis also found 44% of visitors coming from Google are new visitors – visitors who haven’t been to the domain in the past month.