Thursday, December 11, 2014

Google News to stop service in Spain

Plaza Mayor, Madrid.


As the result of a new Spanish law that will go into effect on January 1, 2015, Google has decided to stop serving Google News in Spain.  

The Spanish law is simple--if any internet service provider (such as Google News, Facebook news clippings, Daily Slate, etc.) uses any part of a news article from a Spanish news source, they have to set up a licensing deal.  That is, Google (or FB or DS, has to pay them for each use... Even if it's just a headline and a link to the paper, you still have to set up a deal and pay them for that use.  

The reasoning on Google's part is equally straightforward: Google doesn't run any advertising on News, so it's really a loss-leader, a kind of public service that lets people see a broad spectrum of the news across a wide number of sources.  That was Krishna Bharat's intent when he set it up originally, and that's what it still does.  

You can read the official Google Blog post here for all the details.  But it's a sad day for Spanish news readers.  

I hope that the Spanish publishers, as the German news publishers did a few months ago, discover that they're getting a LOT of traffic from Google News, and revert the law back to the way it is now to avoid losing half of their organic traffic.  

¡Qué lástima!


  1. There will be no Google News in Spain anymore.. This is quite surprising, Google is the most authentic source for news and if this source will not provide services then how things will work out.

    1. Well, as I point out above, Google provides the News service for free--if Spain requires payment for every quotation, then it quickly becomes a VERY expensive money hole. Google News is a loss-leader, but it can't be a giant expense that drains all of the available resources.