Last week, Google News decided to lay off its free news aggregator services for Spainish publishers. Why? No it’s not because Google wanted to drop off another one of its products, but because the Spanish publishers have long been arguing that aggregation services like Google News are infringing on copyrighted material, and should be paying publishers for rights to use it. It has backfired on them.
Then a few days after Google laid off its free news aggregator service, this happened:
External traffic to Spanish news websites has fallen by 10 to 15 percent after Google removed the country’s publishers from its free news index.
Well what did you expect? Lobbying the government to pass a law that requires publishers to pay out a sum just to publish your listings on a free news aggregator? Obviously you [Spanish publishers] were going to go down…
Data collected by web-analytics firm Chartbeat and first reported by Gigaom shows that external traffic to around 50 different sites fell sharply on Tuesday the 16th (the date Google made its changes) compared to a week previously. However, overall traffic was less obviously affected, with Chartbeat suggesting that more readers were following links between publications rather than relying on external sources.
When the law was approved, Google decided that it would be no use to continue to list Spanish news sites on its aggregator if it would have to pay for the rights, especially if they apparently don’t make any money out of this service itself.
Spanish publishers are the victim of their own stupidity…