The president of the internet division of the newspaper conglomerate I work for actually said this in response to a manager suggesting working more closely with Google to improve SEO: "We don't want users to search for our site. We need to focus on the users who are on our site and make it easier for them to find the content they want via our internal search." Yeah. We don't want silly new readers. And we don't want readers to be able to find us on search engines. They should just know to come here and when they're here, they'll then learn how to use a search engine - our search engine. I bet our search algorithms are totally better than google's.
I am still laughing as I type up a response. I was going to get all articulate and give a few more examples of this same kind of attitude in other traditional media companies -- but this quote, and your illustration of how it highlights the really broken thinking behind it -- well, it was just brilliant. Thank you.
ASCII a stupid question, you get an EBCDIC answer.