People who know me know that I am not a Google fan. I keep clear of their products and services whenever I can because I don’t like the companies ethics. But today I am going to take their side in a crazy piece of potential legislation that is going on in Germany. If it should succeed, it would have serious consequences for the Internet as we know it. Apparently, other European countries (France and Italy) are hoping the Germans do succeed because they are waiting in the wings to try and claim their piece of the pie as well.
This is basically about wanting Google to pay publishers for the right to show news snippets in search results. At first blush it may seem as if that is reasonable until you realize the snippets we are talking about are basically the verbiage that the news peddlers wrote especially for the search engines and that the content is being provided for free to the Internet. They believe that they are entitled to a share of the advertising revenues that Google gets on those pages. Of course, if this were to pass it would mean that Google would have to pay every content provider for the information used in search results.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if you have a website, you would want Google including your results. In fact some people are willing to pay to have their results displayed more prominently. That drives more traffic to their site where they can then either sell product or sell advertising. If we continue to use the news publisher as an example, would this not mean that if Google were to drive a reader to a newspaper site, then isn’t Google entitled to a share of their advertising revenue given that they created the lead?
So, if Germany is successful, I hope Google just stops indexing those publications and then we can wait and see how long it is before they place lawsuits trying to force Google to carry their content. It seems as if some German politicians are angry that Google is trying to defend itself with regards to this pending legislation.
So, I hate to say it but Google – I am with you on this one!Brian Bailey
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