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Google’s Belgian Battle: Mountain or Molehill?

Business Week takes a look at what’s at stake in the battle between Google and Belgian publishers.

It’s an interesting read, especially when the publishers concede they’re getting a lot of traffic from Google then go on to use that as evidence the company needs to be stopped.

Since the Belgian court decision went into effect and Google dropped IPM publications, traffic to the company’s sites has dropped about 15%, le Hodey concedes. Yet that only strengthens his sense that Google should be checked before it gets even more powerful.

BW also gives us an explanation of what the Europeans are trying to create with their Robots.txt alternative.

…a set of sophisticated software “tags” readable by search engines’ Web crawlers that would automatically tell aggregators under what terms they can use editorial content.

Why doesn’t Google just remove every European publishers content from their index, then they can spend their time creating a tag that will beg them for mercy. ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/31978685 Petersmithers

    I think google is stealing. Who would use their search engine if all you got were sponsored listings? So if this is the case you must admit that 100% of their product is comprised of the IP of other companies….which doesnt belong to them. Google is leaching all the value from the internet and dont give me that….well they send these publishers traffic when in fact the majority of google’s traffic gets routed to Wikipedia, government sites, acedemic sites and other sites that dont sell ads and which dont compete against google for those same online ad dollars. Well I’ll take that back…lots of commercial sites do show up in Googles organic results and look at that they all have ad sense ads on them….what a coincidence!

  • Anonymous

    My thoughts, as posted here ….

    http://www.ozestock.com.au/board_postview.asp?a=PVS&postID=448464&boardID=2117&sym=LOK

    Andy Beal, in SearchNewz, (who is said to be considered as one of the worlds most respected interactive and search engine marketing experts), added his thoughts to the current publisher/search engine battle today …..

    http://www.searchnewz.com/topstory/news/sn-2-20060928GooglesBelgianBattleMountainorMolehill.html

    “It’s an interesting read, especially when the publishers concede they’re getting a lot of traffic from Google then go on to use that as evidence the company needs to be stopped.”

    http://yahoo.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/sep2006/gb20060927_960729.htm

    He was commenting on an article (above link) from business week and I truly wonder about his sincerity on this issue (or, is it purely a ‘blinkered view’?), when I read his own closing comment:

    “Why doesn’t Google just remove every European publishers content from their index, then they can spend their time creating a tag that will beg them for mercy.”

    Comment: Personally, I don’t think this will be ‘signed and sealed’ in Europe, but rather, a universal resolution will be required IMO and one that WILL fall in the favour of all publishers. (And that being, their right to say yeah or, neah at all times).

    Some other thoughts, (my comment), using some text & argument from the article) are:

    Comment: The bottom line is, that publishers simply want to be paid from SE’s for the right to aggregate their copyrighted content, or, simply, a right to “maintain more control of their [own] material,” as there’s growing concern among publishers that they’re getting eyeballs but little or no revenue from news aggregators …..

    Comment: They (newspaper publishers) would much prefer search engines having to ask THEM if they can include their content within the SE’s results and to be paid a fee for doing so, accordingly. Remembering, that “content is KING”.

    So it’s simply a battle between publishers and the search world (SE’s) over who sets the rules for the posting of copyrighted content created by newspapers, media Co’s and general publishers. Isn’t it??? Time for Google to pull it’s horns in and ‘toe the line’, possibly?

    The article also points out:

    Comment: (Once more) …Time for Google to pull it’s horns in and ‘toe the line’, possibly?

    Cheers !!

    .