Will the French fine Google? Our website marketing team investigate
The president of France, Francois Hollande, is pushing for a new tax that would make search engines such as Google and Yahoo have to pay each time they display content from the media. He said that the rapid expansion of digital media requires tax laws to be updated so that the French media can be rewarded. Our website marketing team investigate…
The plans were discussed between Hollande and the executive chairman of Google. Google is strongly opposed to the tax, and has threatened to ban French media websites from its search results if the tax is imposed. Hollande hopes that a negotiation can be agreed and concluded by the end of the year, otherwise it looks highly likely that the legislation will go ahead. It’s also thought that Germany and Italy are considering imposing similar laws.
Google is referring around 4 billion clicks a year to French newspaper websites, for free, so why are they now trying to make Google pay them for a service which actually benefits the French media more than anyone?
There doesn’t seem to be a straight answer for this one. Of course, people all over the internet are having a field day with the seeming absurdity of the argument, though it does seem to get rather technical.
It seems that the French media are angry about the fact that they are being indexed in Google’s search results, which does carry advertising. So while the French media could in fact alter their robot.txt settings, it seems that the amount of traffic gained from Google searches is something they are well aware of, and have therefore decided to opt in to the results.
It’s been said that French newspapers receive a subsidy to continue printing because not enough hard copies are sold. Therefore, the more people that read the content online, the fewer papers will be sold, so the government will have to up the subsidy given to the media. Understandable, then. But still, the French media earn a substantial amount through traffic received through Google. So shouldn’t the subsidy be reduced?
It’s all very confusing, and it seems that we will just have to wait and see what happens! If France are successful in their venture, could this mean that other countries will follow suit? Only time will tell!
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