Today, the internet is more accessible and user-friendly than it has ever been. You want to know where the nearest Italian restaurant is located, you head over to Google, type in Italian restaurants near me and even go into Google Maps to get directions, and the best part it is all for free.
If a business doesn’t want to be found on search engines, that’s fine also as they can opt-out with a click of a button, but that is all going to change with the new propose Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code
If you are up to date with Google and you’re reading some of their notices, then you are most likely aware of the future of the Australian media landscape that will be at stack. The unfair advantages proposed to benefit news businesses with the Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, will control the relationship between news and media businesses and digital platforms.
Earlier in 2020, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has stated:
“The Australian Government asked the ACCC to develop a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and digital platforms, specifically Google and Facebook.”
While the world, particularly Australia has been distracted by Covid-19, the bill for these proposed changes has been introduced to Parliament on the 9th December 2020 and can be found here.
How does it affect you?
At this stage, the code is far from workable. As we approach the new year, the Australian government is pushing for a one-side negotiation model that will heavily impact the value in the content you will be seeing on search engines. That means if this bill passes as is:
- The content you will be viewing will not be 100% accurate.
- If you search for a local café near you, you may pay to see café’s near you.
- The Code would force search engines to include and pay for links to news websites in the search results you see relevant to your searches. Which means they may no longer be a free tool.
- Businesses using digital marketing strategies such as SEO to generate traffic and revenue to their website will dramatically change for worse.
- New and media businesses will have the advantage over every website of the content displayed.
Why is this happening?
As you are aware of the evolution of the digital world we live in, traditional media and content advertising is on its way to join the past. With the easy access of free, relevant, and accurate content accessible via Google and Facebook has made it extremely difficult for news businesses are generating less revenue every passing year.
The code has been created to protect the future of publishers; however, the proposed method will break the way search engines will work.
We understand and agree with why Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code is being developed. However, if everyone had to pay for links to the content on their website, what’s going to stop certain links with ridiculous price tags?
While the code is not entirely ready to launch as part of the Australian law, there is still time to make it write. If for whatever reason the code continues to become an active law in its current form, and Google wish no to comply with these proposed changes, we may fear the search engine giant may no longer be available in Australia.