In the present digital age, the task of regulating news content is complex and challenging. Google, a leading search engine, has been actively engaged in discussions about how to regulate news content. The company is committed to supporting a healthy journalism industry while upholding the fundamental principles of an open web. This guide will explore Google’s stance on news regulation, with a focus on its implications for search and search engine optimization (SEO).
1. Google’s Commitment to Sustaining Independent Journalism
Google shares the perspective of policymakers who emphasize the importance of a diverse range of independent news sources within a healthy news ecosystem. The company takes a principled approach to assessing proposed laws and regulations, aiming to support journalism. Google evaluates how these proposals might impact its ability to provide a wide range of valuable information, maintain the openness of the web, and ensure operational clarity.
2. Reasonable and Beneficial Public Policy Ideas
Google has put forward reasonable and effective public policy ideas to promote long-term, high-quality journalism. The company’s objective is to collaborate with governments to develop strategies tailored to specific markets. Google seeks changes that align with the principles of an open web and benefit the news industry.
3. Collaboration with Governments
Google acknowledges that local laws and policies may sometimes conflict with its guiding principles and offerings in various parts of the world. The company has adjusted its approaches in response to regulatory changes. Google’s aim in engaging with governments and policymakers is to find common ground that preserves the open web while ensuring the dissemination of reliable information.
4. European Media Regulation
In light of the European Copyright Directive (EUCD), Europe has been at the forefront of efforts to regulate news content. Google has had to navigate compliance with this directive while maintaining the usefulness of its products for users. Under the EUCD, search engines are permitted to freely link to and use “short extracts” of news publishers’ content, effective since 2019. However, it has introduced unclear rights for publishers when longer excerpts are used. Google licenses content from European publishers for use in Search and News as part of its compliance program.
5. European Union Commercial Agreements
As a result of the EUCD, more than 1,500 publications in 15 EU countries have entered into commercial agreements with Google. These agreements enable Google to continue offering valuable news to its users while fairly compensating publishers for content usage.
6. Spanish Google News Update
After Spain adopted the EUCD in 2022, Google was no longer obligated to pay for links to Spanish news stories. Consequently, Google relaunched Google News in Spain after an eight-year hiatus, expanding users’ access to a wider array of news outlets.
7. Australian News Media Code
Google has been actively addressing concerns raised by the Australian government regarding the News Media Bargaining Code, a significant development in news regulation.
8. Productive Engagement
In 2021, the Australian News Media Bargaining Code was enacted into law after extensive discussions. Google engaged constructively with the government to address its apprehensions about the code’s impact on the open and free web. This approach encourages commercial partnerships between platforms and publishers.
9. Partnerships in Direct Business
Only “designated” platforms are subject to the Australian Code, and the government considers a platform’s overall contribution to Australian news before designation. Collaboration with publishers on Google News Showcase has been a valuable way to meet the code’s objectives and ensure access to news content.
10. Czech Republic’s Media Law
Google faced operational and financial challenges due to the Czech Republic’s implementation of Article 15 of the EUCD, which went beyond the European Directive’s provisions. The company made difficult decisions to comply with legal requirements while minimizing costs for users.
11. Implementation of EUCD Article 15
The Czech Republic’s implementation of Article 15 of the EUCD posed disproportionate financial and operational risks for Google. As a result, Google ceased displaying previews of content from news publishers to align with the law. Links and headlines, however, remained unaffected by the law.
12. Removal of Previews in News Publisher Articles
The new law in the Czech Republic compelled Google to stop showing previews of content from news publishers. This decision was made to ensure compliance with the law while still granting users access to news articles and websites. Google anticipates regulatory changes that will restore full access to its services.
13. Advancing the Digital Economy in Taiwan
Google has collaborated with the Taiwanese government and industry players to facilitate the transition to digital news, aiming to protect and expand the sector in the digital era.
14. Supporting the Adaptation to Digital Transformation
Google recognizes the significance of digital transformation for Taiwan’s media sector. The company recently announced the launch of a Digital Co-prosperity Fund in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Affairs and industry leaders. This fund aims to assist publishers of all sizes in establishing a robust online presence, expanding readership, enhancing reader engagement, and improving the overall quality of digital journalism.
15. Google’s Contribution to the Media
Google is a substantial supporter of journalism globally, with various initiatives, collaborations, and offerings designed to strengthen the media sector and increase consumers’ access to information.
16. Connecting Readers to Publishers’ Sites
Google’s search engine directs users to publishers’ websites more than 24 billion times per month without charging fees. This traffic offers invaluable exposure and monetization opportunities for publishers. Google provides tools like subscriptions and ad technology to help publishers maximize the potential of their website traffic.
17. Google News Showcase
Google offers the Google News Showcase licensing program and product experience to news outlets. Over 2,300 publications from 22 countries participate in this program. Google News Showcase benefits both publishers and readers by providing increased exposure to high-quality news content.
18. Google’s News Initiative
To support journalists and newsrooms worldwide, Google established the Google News Initiative. This program offers resources, funding, and education to journalists in the digital era, collaborating with more than 7,000 news publishers. Google is dedicated to strengthening the media sector through sustained investments and partnerships.
19. Shaping the Future of News
Google is committed to making the future of news more inclusive, enduring, and innovative. The company continuously develops new products and tools to expand local news coverage, diversify information sources, combat disinformation, and facilitate improved communication between publishers and their audiences.
20. Emphasizing Local News
Google acknowledges the importance of local news and strives to make it easily accessible. The company has launched programs to enhance people’s access to local news, enabling publishers to better serve and engage with their communities.
21. Countering Misinformation
Google places a high priority on combatting false information. The company collaborates with fact-checking organizations and utilizes AI to detect and flag misleading content, promoting accurate and trustworthy information. Google prioritizes content from reputable sources to provide reliable results to users.
22. Strengthening Audience Relationships
Google recognizes the value of fostering stronger connections between media organizations and their audiences. Google’s services empower publishers with tools to build strong bonds with their readerships, keeping them engaged and returning for more content. Publishers can enhance their connection with readers by tailoring content to their preferences and behaviors.
See first source: Google Blog
1. What is Google’s stance on news regulation and why is it relevant in the digital age?
Google is committed to supporting a healthy journalism industry while preserving the principles of an open web. In the digital age, where news regulation is complex, Google aims to strike a balance between sustaining independent journalism and ensuring operational clarity.
2. How does Google view the role of independent news sources in the news ecosystem?
Google shares the perspective that a diverse range of independent news sources is crucial for a healthy news ecosystem. The company values these sources and seeks to support their sustainability.
3. What is Google’s approach to assessing proposed news-related laws and regulations?
Google takes a principled approach to evaluating proposed laws and regulations that impact news content. The company carefully considers how these proposals might affect its ability to provide diverse information, maintain an open web, and ensure operational clarity.
4. Does Google have any public policy ideas to promote long-term, high-quality journalism?
Yes, Google has proposed reasonable and effective public policy ideas to support long-term, high-quality journalism. The company aims to collaborate with governments to develop strategies tailored to individual markets while aligning with the principles of an open web.
5. How does Google handle conflicts between its principles and local laws or policies?
Google acknowledges that local laws and policies may sometimes conflict with its guiding principles. The company adapts its approaches to navigate such conflicts, with the aim of finding common ground that preserves the open web and ensures the dissemination of reliable information.
6. What role has Google played in addressing European media regulation, specifically the European Copyright Directive (EUCD)?
Google has worked to comply with the European Copyright Directive (EUCD), which allows search engines to link to and use “short extracts” of news publishers’ content. Google licenses content from European publishers as part of its compliance program.
7. How has the EUCD affected Google’s relationships with European publishers?
As a result of the EUCD, over 1,500 publications in 15 EU countries have entered into commercial agreements with Google. These agreements enable Google to continue offering news content while fairly compensating publishers.
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