Blog PostsDigital FirstSocial MediaNo Google licensing fees for European publishers

No Google licensing fees for European publishers

This must be the most predictable story in tech as of late.

In March of 2019, I wrote How the EU Copyright Directive will Backfire.

I wrote:

“Google could demote all search results from copyright-protected European sources to obscure SERPs. SEO will be rendered pointless for any such platforms and the only way for them to make up for lost search traffic is to pay for it via Adwords. North American content providers will be happy to quickly fill the void for any valuable search phrases. […] European copyright-lobbyists are celebrating because they think that their middle-men clients now has secured hefty licensing fees, but they will soon realise that “free” social- and search traffic wasn’t actually free to begin with.”

As France is first to move on Google, Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of news, has swiftly responded to their demands:

“We don’t pay for links to be included in search results. Doing so would not only skew the results we might provide but it would undermine the trust that users have in search and Google.”

And furthermore, in a Google blog post:

“We will no longer display an overview of the content in France for European press publishers, unless the publisher tells us that it’s okay.”

So, no money for European press publishers from Google. The only predictable result is that these publishers now will get less qualitative traffic from search engines.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash.


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Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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