back to article We'd rather go down in Down Under, says Google: Search biz threatens to quit Australia if forced to pay for news

Google threatened to shut down its search service in Australia if the government passes legislation that forces Google and Facebook to pay publishers Down Under for reusing their news content. The News Media Bargaining Code, proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last year, would give publishers the …

  1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

    I'm quite certain the fact they're gunning so hard for this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that NewsCorp have 60+ percent of the Australian Market. Completely irrelevant I expect. The Liberals would probably have done this for anyone.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

      The Liberals would probably have done this for anyone.

      Whoever holds the seat of power, whether it is Liberal, Labour, Greens or even Clive Palmer or Pauline Hanson, will have to "kowtow" to News Corp. No politician has the cajones to go against Rupert demands.

      And Rupert wants Google/Facebook to pay or else his worldwide paper empire will close for good.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

        The Greens! Hah! If they had their way News Corp would be broken up, and I'm all for it. It's the only major party that isn't cowed by Murdoch and there's nothing The Greens could do to gain his support without abandoning their principles. Quite unlike the other majors, I should note.

        Hanson doesn't have to kowtow to them because she's [i]right[/i] up their alley. Palmer, while he was still remotely relevant, was a simple populist who happily flutters whichever way the News Corp wind is blowing if it means some support.

      2. sgp Bronze badge

        Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

        Thanks for teaching me the word "kowtow"!

        1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

          It's like boattow or trailertow .... but you're dragging a kow around!!!!

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

      Being politicos they may have less than ideal motives but they're on the side trying to make google actually pay for content leeched from other people and companies.

      The fact that Newscorp is the print equivalent of google across Oz isn't a good thing, however, they do employ thousands who vote and contribute a measurable monetary value to the country.

      Given that google bends over backwards to keep it's search engine everywhere* It's not particularly believable when they threaten to remove it from 25 million people living in an advanced country and I hope the general response will be in suitably robust Oz vernacular.

      * 'Abiding by local laws' when asked about PRC censorship.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

        "Given that google bends over backwards to keep it's search engine everywhere* It's not particularly believable when they threaten to remove it from 25 million people living in an advanced country and I hope the general response will be in suitably robust Oz vernacular."

        Not to mention that in many jurisdictions, Google already has to block some search results and has done for years. They have working and proven tech for this. How hard would it be to simply list all relevant news publishing sites and block just them? Or simply link the headline and not the majority meat of the story as they do now? After all, anyone relying on the snippets displayed by Google is not getting the correct news story anyway. Most news sites use the headline, sub-head and 1st paragraph as clickbait which frequently gives a highly misleading impression to a casual reader.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

        "Being politicos they may have less than ideal motives but they're on the side trying to make google actually pay for content leeched from other people and companies."

        The porblem is that the Murdoch empire are looking at this as an "us vs them" scenario - with Google gone they can dominate Australian media again.

        Letting Google off isn't the answer, but neither is purely targetting Google - forcing Internet-based news aggregators such as Google to pay for content addresses the unfair use of content and fairly regulating news organisations in Australia to provide real competition in the market is the second part.

        And I doubt whether the status quo, the Australian governments planned changes OR my suggestions will save Australian newspapers from their long term decline.

      3. hoola Silver badge

        Re: That's the Australian govt, always sticking up for the little guy...

        If the figures quoted on a BBC report are correct I think it is something like 85% of all advertising revenue is going to Google and Facebook. Now if other organisations such as news and broadcasting need advertising revenue they are increasingly stuffed. What makes it worse is that Google is scraping all their work and then publishing it free & taking all the advertising revenue.

        Google are simply too arrogant and big for their own good. It does not appear to have crossed the money-grubbing scroats at Google that is they put all the new sources out of business they will no longer have anything to scrape from. I supposed they may start their own news service but that would mean paying for something and having to take responsibility.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop fcuking about and blackhole 5.0.0.0/8

    As they say, don't give in to ransom, don't pay up and let criminal organisations profit from crime.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop fcuking about and blackhole 5.0.0.0/8

      Ok, It'll bite. Sounds like good advice which might solve a multitude of other sins but I fail to see the Russian link to this story?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop fcuking about and blackhole 5.0.0.0/8

      Out of interest, who is 5.0.0.0/8?

      I see it assigned to RIPE and then sub-allocated to:

      - Syrian Telecom

      - ER Telecom in Russia

      - Hetzner and Telefonica in Germany

      - RCS & RDS in Romania

      - Cgates in Lithuania

      - OmanTel and Qatar Telecom in Oman

      - TurkCell in Turkey

      - Hot Net in Israel

      - Emirates Telecom in UAE

      - Telenor in Denmark

      - Ono in Spain

      - SaudiNet in Saudi Arabia

      At which point I stopped - is there some larger meaning in this or is the intention to ban ISP ranges in managed by RIPE?

    3. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Stop fcuking about and blackhole 5.0.0.0/8

      Whois 5.0.0.0/8 ? Did you mean 8.8.8.0/24 ?

      (Pardon the pun in the line above)

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    The News Media Bargaining Code, proposed demanded by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission News Corp last year

    TFTFY, TYVM

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Farewell then

    This seems rather risky for Google. Not because Australia is an especially important market for them, but because a few days after they make good on the threat, there will be millions more people in an advanced economy who know they don't need Google. That kind of thing can spread very quickly and would completely destroy the company. The alternative, caving in, seems just as bad given the path they've chosen.

    Seriously, don't let the door hit you on the way out. It's tough to know whom we'd miss less, Google or News Corp, but I'm sure that either way it'll be at most a few days before people learn to type something else into their browsers after which life will go on as always. Few dead/banished corporations are mourned, and nearly all are forgotten almost immediately. No reason to think either will be an exception.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: Farewell then

      Agreed. I also think it is important for people to realize Google isn't the internet. It isn't a human right to access, it is simply a product from a competitive company.

      People knowing that the pettiness of Google can cause them to lose access at any second.

      1. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

        Re: Farewell then

        As long as they have Facebook they'll think they have three quarters of the Internet. Sigh

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

          Re: Farewell then

          I thought 75% of the Internet is cat videos?

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Gimp

            Re: Farewell then

            No, they are a different type of pussy

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Google isn't the internet

        Technically you're right, of course - but at the same time, you're kinda wrong.

        With all its datacenters and the time it has had, Google has indexed practically all the Web (except the few who tell it not to, of which there are zero honest businesses). Whatever you think of Google's practices (and I don't look kindly on the ad business in general), that amount of knowledge has become priceless, so, in a sense, Google is the Internet.

        That is also demonstrated in the fact that, when you ask Joe User what browser he's using, there is a significant chance that he will answer "Google".

        1. Adam 1

          Re: Google isn't the internet

          > Google has indexed practically all the Web (except the few who tell it not to, of which there are zero honest businesses)

          The surface web is estimated at only 4%-10% of the web (depending on who you ask). I'll accept of course that Google has indexed almost the entirety of the surface web. But even duckduckgo or Bing have indexed enough of the surface web to meet the needs of most people.

          Frankly I can think of at least 3 Google services other than search that would be more important to Google for figuring out how to sell you to advertisers.

        2. Ian Reissmann

          Re: Google isn't the internet

          Have you tried using a different search engine. I've found duckduckgo pretty good. I would miss google, and I certainly wouldn't miss their sneaky ads.

          1. lamp

            Re: Google isn't the internet

            Well, you can always use duckduckgo and search using !guk - my experience is that it provides the standard Google search results.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Farewell then

      The thing is though Google could escalate rapidly. They could block any reference to Australia and Australians from search results anywhere in the world. GoogleMaps could just blank out Australia as Terra Incognita. They could erase all of Australia's cultural triumphs such as ... well, such as they were.

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: Farewell then

        @Danny - they could - but the US is also looking at whether the big internet companies have too much power and should be broken up. If Google chucked a strop and wielded its power as you suggest then it would give the US, and other countries, all the evidence they need that Google has got too big for its boots.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Farewell then

          I wis joking, just to wind up blokes like The Crutoniser below. The fact that Google have caved in France shows they are fronting it in Australia, and haven't a global strategy.

          There are some corporations that are more powerful than nation states, but so far none that are more powerful than all nation states. Maybe one day, not yet.

          1. Malcolm Weir

            Re: Farewell then

            But actually they didn't "cave in France". They created a new product that engages the French publishers. The publishers see a (potential) improved market/channel, and Google retains it's "traffic steering" position.

            The problem with the Australian approach is that it's absolute: if Google puts a publisher's article in a search result, they'd have to pay. If someone links an article to their Facebook page, Facebook would have to pay (because FB puts a "preview" of that link in-line).

            Leaving aside the specific merits of Google/Facebook's past behavior, I have concerns about this sort of behavior by publishers; where does one draw the line about indexing/cross-referencing.

            For example, a citation to a news article in an academic paper is functionally not unlike a search-result cross-reference, and I don't think any reasonable person would think charging for that would be good public policy... but I do know that some publishers would like to have veto power over such citations (e.g. a paper discussing News Corp's egregious behavior, with cites, would likely be unpopular with the Murdochs).

            So let's look at a few possible (not necessarily probable) situations: if a publisher gets to charge negotiated fees, how long before negotiations become content-sensitive? Articles critical of a certain political group might be more expensive than those complimentary of them. A publisher in a competitive market could offer free of cheap access to their articles in order to marginalize their competition (and revoke that access once the competitor is suitably diminished). Is this functionally any different from pay-for-ranking schemes, only inverted? Who qualifies as a publisher: if Bruce Dinkum writes a definitive article on how to grill shrimp, does he get to go to Google and demand fees and/or delisting? How about if Bruce instead writes a piece expressing his view that all the brown people should go back to where they came from (unless they came from somewhere he wants to live, in which case they should go back to where they were forcibly removed to)?

            As we've seen with the MPAA and RIAA, publishers are hugely prone to try to get legislation that not only protects their walled gardens, but also legalizes guard towers, razor wire and searchlights on the walls. So on balance, even with all their imperfections, I tend to lean towards the Googles/Facebooks/etc when pitted against publishers, not because I think the former are "right", but because I think the public interest is rarely served when the latter control access.

      2. The Central Scrutinizer

        Re: Farewell then

        More cultural achievements than you know about, obviously.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Farewell then

          Barbies, Kylie, dunny, lappies, sickies?

          There was those three Nobel Literature Prizes - nope, sorry that was New Zealand. There was that one Nobel Literature Prize.

          Didn't a Dane build an opera house there? Reminiscent of 'Fitzcarraldo' building one in the Amazonian jungle.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Farewell then

            You forgot yogurt. There's a lot of culture in yogurt!

          2. Jason Hindle Silver badge

            Re: Farewell then

            “ nope, sorry that was New Zealand. ”

            When Kiwis were moving to Australia for (largely manual) work, in the 80s, Prime Minister Rob Muldoon quipped it would raise the IQ of both countries.

          3. The Central Scrutinizer

            Re: Farewell then

            Or may 60 to 70,0000 years of continuous Aboriginal culture. It is with some irony that I'm posting this on Australia Day.

        2. not.known@this.address Silver badge

          Re: Farewell then

          Danny Ricciardo's "shoey" F1 celebration?

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Great! Off you pop.

    It's not like there aren't alternatives.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Great! Off you pop.

      "It's not like there aren't alternatives."

      Certainly there are, but will the politicians see them? They, as a class, don't know much about technology. They have people to deal with that. I expect that many of them have staff that print out their emails and make notes by hand for a staff member to type in and send in response.

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Great! Off you pop.

      As I understand Google's "business" model it doesn't depend on search, it depends on advertising. If they ditch search in Oz, they will presumably end up ditching all their ad revenue in Oz too. Ain't gonna happen. This is a try-on and they will end up with a deal like they just agreed to in France.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Bye, and chewy on ya boot!

    Google can piss off any time they like.

    Take your tax avoidance scheme elsewhere.

    Let Rupe’s empire die on the vine naturally.

  7. MachDiamond Silver badge

    It's Copyright plain and simple.

    If Google is just linking to a news site with the headline of an article and a bit of the leading text, that's a good thing for the news source. If they are delivering the whole article or a significant chunk, there is no reason for people to follow the link and get bombarded by the advertising on the news site in addition to the news site being able to harvest their info. I see that as theft of content and Google/FB using somebody else's content to make money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Copyright plain and simple.

      I see that as theft of content and Google/FB using somebody else's content to make money.

      It's not just you seeing that, that is simply the fact. That's also why Google and FB are fighting like maniacs to hold on to this model, as it's basically free money (aka pure profit) for them.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: It's Copyright plain and simple.

        Yes, it's a classic example of parasitism.

        Take all you can, give nothing back.

        1. nijam Silver badge

          Re: It's Copyright plain and simple.

          > Yes, it's a classic example of parasitism.

          Much like 90% of journalism, then.

    2. nijam Silver badge

      Re: It's Copyright plain and simple.

      > ... If they are delivering the whole article ...

      Well, there must be something wrong with my access to Google, because I've never seen them do that.

      1. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: It's Copyright plain and simple.

        Same for me all I see is the headline and 10 to 20 words of text after with Google search no different to bing.

        Maybe it is different if you are signed into google, I would not know don't have a google account.

        I thought the problem with google was it was displaying news in its news section page what ever it is and that opens a lot of an article without going to the news site the article is on.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: It's Copyright plain and simple.

      "If Google is just linking to a news site with the headline of an article and a bit of the leading text, that's a good thing for the news source. If they are delivering the whole article or a significant chunk"

      The problem comes down to the difference between quality and quantity. Copying the headline and a bit of the leading text might only be a small fraction of the total article, but it's a very large portion of the useful content. That's the whole point of headlines and leading text, after all. Getting as much information as possible in a few lines is a big part of news publishing, because it's been well known for a long time that most people don't actually bother reading much more than that anyway. The concept of burying the lede - where the meat of an article is unusually pushed further down instead of appearing in the header and opening paragraph - has been around for a lot longer than the internet.

      So the whole issue is that copying only the headline and a bit of leading text isn't actually good for the news source, because that's enough of the useful content that most people won't bother clicking on the link afterwards. But the reason it's a problem is that traditional copyright rules don't really care about the quality of the content, and just say that you've only quoted a couple of lines so it's probably fine. And that was never an issue with printed media because there wasn't any sensible way for someone to buy your paper, copy the headlines, then rush off to their own printing press to crank out copies. Whereas now, Google can copy every article published anywhere, and show it to users in a way that means Google makes money but hardly anyone will visit the site that actually produced the content.

  8. trist

    Is this the most stupid thing ever said by a google employee?

    If we cannot rip off off Fairfax and News corp content in order to sell ads that have moved from them to use then we cannot operate in your country. I have never supported rupert, by for all I care google can just fuck on off back to the states and serve it state side shite downunder.

    1. onemark03 Bronze badge

      Google

      Isn't DuckDuckGo more secure?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Google

        It is. But it sounds like Google are escalating the threats to remove the whole of "search" and possibly other unrelated services.

        I do wonder just how people actually use Google as their primary news source anyway. I rarely search for news. I have a number of "competing" news sites I use and just go straight there to see what's happening in the world. I don't need an algorithm curated search engine to show me what it "thinks" I want to see.

        1. iron Silver badge

          Re: Google

          A lot of non-techies don't know what the address bar is in their browser or understand URLs. So every time they go to a website they type the name of that website into Google and then click the first link. Even sites they visit every day. It is hard to fathom the total cluelessness of users some times.

          1. hoola Silver badge

            Re: Google

            Because the way the browser searches directly from the address bar has become standard. It is important not to forget that 99.99999% of people will then just click on the first link regardless of whether it is what they wanted or not.

            Advertising pays many times over in very different ways. Search for an item and most of the first page will be Amazon or generated links to sites that do not have what you want. The fact that all the Amazon links are for items long dead is irrelevant, you are now in Amazon so the next step will be to search there. At that point everyone has achieved what they set out to do:

            Google has the ad revenue to get the links high in the list

            Amazon has the business

            The generated clickbait links produce real advertising clicks and make money.

            The only losers are the people doing the search.

            This brings me to the other big issue, as a resource for information the Internet is increasingly full of total shite. Whether it be IT, your car or a push bike, whatever you search for most of the results are from total twats saying things like:

            Oh, I had that problem too

            Have you re-installed Windows

            Oh, I had that problem and fixed it....... (nothing more)

            Have you tried changing the coding on your car EMU

            Add more tokens to the suspension fork

            Just buy a new one

        2. trist

          Re: Google

          Australians should be *really* scared. I mean "search" "youtube" and "maps" that stalk you are such an essential public utility, right up there with the the water mains that enters your house. If google left the population would be so, so unbelievably severely affected. Not. The only thing that would be affected would be Alfuckbets balance sheet.

          Yeah right. I reckon despot Dan could have Baidu up and running in a week. And in return, they would probably censor the fox (sky) news corp bastards that call him Dictator Dan.

          1. Precordial thump

            Re: Google

            So the Chinese would be paying Murdoch to criticise the Chinese government? Umm..... Have you taken your pills today?

            And tell me that if Gladys had been running the show per Rupert's instructions in July and August, that the whole of Australia would not be in the same pile of cacky most of the other English-speaking nations find themselves in now. Victoria's last community transmission (not hitch-hiking from NSW) was three months ago. It doesn't take a dictator to do that. But you do have to listen to the science.

            1. trist

              Re: Google

              I am sorry what pills are you talking about here? Are you qualified in anyway to offer medical advice? Anyhow, I shall give you the benefit of the doubt.

              Didn't Rupert's henchmen start calling The Hon Danien Andrews Despot/Dictator Dan? And who was it that signed up for China's yellow brick road (or whatever it is called). If you have difficulty understanding something, or unaware of the context because you are just a cockroache a living in Mexico, then by all means ask.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. nijam Silver badge

        Re: Google

        > Isn't DuckDuckGo more secure?

        Definitely, but it won't help because it's not a search engine, just a front-end: they forward the enquiry to other search engines.

        They'l have to fall back on ... er, Alta Vista? Yahoo? Bing? No, not Bing, since they've already been caught searching Google for information themselves...

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Is this the most stupid thing ever said by a google employee?

      Use Startpage.

      They proxy the results, so you get Goigle, without googles spying.

  9. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Go

    Assisted Passage

    A Google-Free Zone sounds delightful.

    Worth buying one of those £10 tickets to Australia my butler keeps talking about.

    1. very angry man

      Re: Assisted Passage

      Google will go?

      quickly and completely?

      Promise?

      I will be so sorry to loose my gmail account, buy buy all that advertising.

      happy dayz

  10. Denarius Silver badge

    You mean

    Oz has real journalists ( outside of El Reg) ? I thought they were recyclers for press releases. As for Google et al, who cares, unless it means gmail and Google storage also vanish. More business for M$, or is that who is really funding this ?

    1. sbt Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Oz has real journalists?

      Hell, yes, we do. They write real quality investigative stuff as well, like exposés on war crimes, political corruption and institutional sexual abuse. Many a royal commission or ICAC investigation has been triggered by stories broken in the press. Some award-winning examples here: https://www.walkleys.com/awards/walkley-winners-archive/

      Sure we have the stupid tabloids and gossip rags, but that's not the quality journalism at risk from the flight of advertising revenue from news outlets to search engines and social media sites. It's not just reports being reprinted, either; photographers are getting a raw deal when their images get scooped up by the Internet and there's no click-through once the user sees the picture.

  11. YetAnotherJoeBlow Bronze badge

    runnaroo

    Use runnaroo.com and optionally add these 2 filters to ublock:

    www.runnaroo.com###pills-web > div.flex-md-row.flex-column-reverse.row > .col-md-10 > div

    www.runnaroo.com##.col-md-10 > div

    This makes for a very nice search page result. Try it. ymmv

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'd have thought the simplest solution would just be to stop indexing news sites. If News Corp discovers that without Google they lose traffic the law will be repealed PDQ. If they don't and the situation becomes permanent then Google minimise their losses.

    1. Beeblebrox

      "stop indexing news sites"

      robots.txt?

      1. -tim
        Boffin

        Re: "stop indexing news sites"

        Robots.txt is a bit primitive but it needs far more metadata like:

        Summary: 140 words

        Crawler: Googlebot

        Contract: 279ac2b68259630132ad9f133b92f475 /

        Contract: 587597866e25dd2cbe40e4159d1f6845 /hot-news/*

        Crawler: *

        License_provider: theregister.com

        Rate: USD .0002 /

        Rate: USD .03 /hot-news/*

    2. ratfox

      The law says Google are not allowed to stop indexing news sites; and news sites want to be indexed (and get traffic from Google... plus some cash, ta).

  13. Fred Daggy

    Let insanity prevail

    OMG. The holy trinity of evil. A group of politicains, Google and News Corp.

    If the politicians do something, anything, they will inevitably piss off one group. There is almost no possible good outcome. I only hope that the honorable members mange to show their usual competence and make it worse for everyone. Us, the great unwashed, will of course come off worst, but that's a small price to pay for an annoyed Google or an annoyed Murdoch.

  14. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Pot Meet Kettle

    The whole Aussie fiasco sounds to me (a non Aussie) like 2 toddlers throwing tantrums if they do not get their way. Depending on the details, the media companies might have a slightly better case. The threat to leave if the bill passes largely as is appears to be rather idiotic and arrogant. Leaving would reinforce the complaints of many of the excessive power of the tech giants; not good optics when the complainers can point to Australia as an example.

  15. DS999 Silver badge

    Why would they have to cut off Google Search?

    Wouldn't they just cut off the News portion? Or would Australia's rules apply to anything found by Google's crawlers, even with a regular web search?

    Requiring payment is one thing, but requiring Google has to tell them how its algorithm work and notify them in advance of any changes is probably the thing that's really driving this ultimatum. On the one hand you make it easy for the competition to copy you, on the other hand you make it easy for news sites to game the system. Seems like a terrible idea from all angles, not just Google's.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: Why would they have to cut off Google Search?

      would Australia's rules apply to anything found by Google's crawlers, even with a regular web search?

      From what I understand, yes. Not only Google would have to pay for showing news sites in regular web search, but they would be forced to show results from news sites (that is, they would not be allowed to discriminate against sites it needs to pay in search results).

      I'm not sure what qualifies as a news site. Sounds like you could get a lot of money from Google with a few scripts automatically searching for your website.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who Cares !!!

    Seriously let google go

    There are home grown web search engines use those, probably give better results than the paid for first 10 pages

    Google sell their soul in China and yet in a western democracy they scream foul play

    Hope Oz force this one through then the rest of the world will realise you don’t have to bend over for these American comoanies

  17. niio

    This is all bluster. Google just agreed to pay publishers in France, so they'll do it in Australia as well.

  18. sinsi

    Already started?

    I've noticed, just in the last few weeks, that my searches now have the top 5 or 6 results as ads. Before there were none, maybe one or two now and then.

    Coincidence? Or dicking us around? Maybe they are trying to make as much money from us (hah!) before they pull out.

    No great loss, there are plenty more.

  19. Def Silver badge
    Go

    Dear Google...

    Can you pull out of Europe next? Pretty please with sugar on top...

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: Dear Google...

      Ah Gexit ;)

  20. Slipoch

    Lets not forget the first search engines were create din Australia and until they were sold they kicked google's arse.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      WTF?

      "the first search engines were create din Australia".

      Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about that.

      I can find nothing in the Wikipedia link supporting it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine#History

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_web_search_engines

  21. Ian Reissmann

    "Considering more than 90 per cent of the world uses Google Search, that would be quite a blow to Oz's netizens, who would have to turn to other search engines like Bing or DuckDuckGo."

    I'm puzzled. In what way is using a different search engine a problem? I use a mix of google and duckduckgo on different systems. both seem to provide good search results. But google hides really annoying adverts in its results in a really annoying way. If Australia does have the courage of its convictions maybe we'd all realise that google is far from irreplaceable. End result : the world is a better place ?

  22. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I personally doubt Google will pull out of Australia completely, but they may kill the news app and specific news feed for Aussies and make google.com.au only show the headline with no snippet to avoid having to pay as a publisher. I guess the main issue for Google is the requirement to tell the news site when they change their algorithms. I suspect that is the red line for them.

    But even Google did pull out of Australia, its not like the Aussie government are going to block people visiting google.com, youtube, gmail etc. As I that would be political suicide for the government as there would be millions of Aussie who use these daily, some of them for their businesses.

  23. Brian Scott

    Facebook

    Any chance facebook will threaten to leave Australia? Should I be lobbying my local member to push them harder? This could be really good.

  24. Hazmoid

    As an Aussie, I hate this proposed legislation

    Given that most of the Murdoch press is hidden behind paywalls, and all I am seeing on Google news is news headlines, I can't see that this should be a thing.

    Actually as a newspaper, I would be more worried that we would lose revenue as we would not have Google pushing people to our websites.

    Tried explaining this to the wife last night and got told that "Google is making a bucket load of money by showing other people's work". I obviously explained to her that the news press make money by showing ads on their site, which is where most of the headlines point to anyway.

  25. ecofeco Silver badge

    Meh

    There are no good guys in this fight, but Google needs a reality check.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      So do Rupert Murdoch and the Australian governement.

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