Google is the high powered search engine that’s everyone’s go-to. You can quickly fact check anything, look up the best restaurants near you, the quickest route to your destination, and pretty much anything else in the entire world. Its helpfulness is widely known and continues to benefit people’s everyday lives.
But there’s much more to it than the basic typing in of a question, and not many people know how to get into that nitty-gritty part of Google and customize it for an unparalleled search experience. So Google created tools to help users have that experience more easily, one of them being Google News.
Google News launched in September of 2002 and has been providing a free one-stop destination for news readers ever since. The Google sub-site compiles news from over 25,000 media sources, with more than 4,500 sites being for the English language. The page also offers its own customization, allowing users to chose their country of interest and section of news (like business, sports, technology, etc.). Without clicking anything, the page shows top stories, recent news, weather, sports scores, editors’ picks and a spotlight section.
The idea of a free news aggregating site appears to be a win-win for both readers and publishers. Readers get access to thousands of sources in one place, while publishers get 1 billion additional clicks a month. But many news sources across the world have had their concerns with Google and copyright infringements, even though publishers always have the option to take their site off Google News or customize what readers can see from them on the Google News page.
European news outlets have sought out government intervention for the issue, by asking their governments to implement a tax on Google for using their stories. 90% of Brazilian news outlets faced this issue by boycotting Google News in 2007 and taking their sites off. Unfortunately for Google, the sources found “negligible losses in web traffic”. In 2014, Spanish publishers were removed from Google News after a tax was passed that forced sites like Google News to pay a tax for the links they post. Germany tried a similar approach in 2013, but after a “significant loss in web traffic”, the government dropped the tax they created and German sites reappeared on Google News. While countries are continuing to fight Google copyright issue, Google still believes their site is the best way for publishers to spread their content with an even greater audience and is willing to fight to keep it that way.