Google experiments with burying commercial news | WARC | The Feed
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Google experiments with burying commercial news
Advertising regulation Australia
Google has taken the extraordinary step of trialling the suppression of search results that link to commercial news outlets, part of a campaign against the proposed News Media Bargaining Code, as the search giant claims the draft law will undermine the service it provides.
Why it matters: In a situation in which Google is arguing that Australia should not legislate to let commercial publishers bargain collectively with platform companies, flexing its singular power over them is a strange move, given that it goes a long way in showing why publishers have a case for levelling the playing field.
- Reporting in the Australian Financial Review found that for some users commercial news sites like The Guardian and The Australian were affected for a small fraction of search users.
- State-owned ABC appears to have been unaffected.
- Google, noting that it runs “tens of thousands” of experiments each year, said that it is committed to finding a “workable” code.
- The reason for the experiments is to “measure the impacts of news businesses and Google search on each other”.
- It also pointed out the value it provides to publishers, which can also be read as the publisher revenues that Google effectively controls.
- The code is currently under a Senate committee review.
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