In a major industry development, Google has reluctantly agreed to demands from both the EU Commission and news publishers to pay to display snippets of news stories on search results. The story was confirmed in a blog post written by Google’s Sulina Connal, Director, News and Publishing Partnerships, yesterday afternoon.
The deal will initially see Google license content from 300 national, local and specialist news publications in Germany, France, Austria, Netherlands, Hungary, and Ireland, before rolling out to other EU countries.
News publishers have long lobbied governments to ensure online platforms pay fair remuneration for content, and the latest development comes off the back of similar moves in other parts of the world – notably Australia, which last year made payments mandatory, whilst Canada has recently introduced similar legislation.
Google didn’t miss the opportunity to take a slight dig at the EU Commission, stating in its blog post that whilst the European Copyright Directive allows search engines to freely link to “very short extracts” of news publishers’ content, it doesn’t clarify what a longer preview is.
Despite this uncertainty, we announced last year that we will pay news publishers for content which goes beyond links and short extracts, as we are already doing in countries such as Germany. Through this new tool, which will be available via Search Console, publishers will be offered an Extended News Preview (ENP) agreement with Google for this content.Google Blog post, May 11th 2022
News publishers will continue to have full control over whether or not their content appears in Google Search and how that content can be previewed, and will be able to change their preferences and enroll in the ENP program at any time. Google did not place any restrictions on which sites are allowed to apply for its ENP program although this will need further clarification.