With news coming out of Australia this week with respect to Google paying fees or royalties to news channels listed within search engine results pages (serps) it does ask a very big question of where the world of internet is going.
From a very basic level, news channels, like any website owner, can simply request Google not list them within SERPS, but of course they choose to allow access due to the volume of free traffic they receive from year to year.
It is an interesting move by the Australian Government, who have seemingly sided with media owners who lack any wisdom of their own in terms of generating income from running their own news sites.
Should this set a real precedent, it begs the question, who will be next in requesting fees or loyalties from having their website listed on Google SERPs?
Liking Google or otherwise is not really the issue here. The issue is what control individual Governments around the world will exert on a platform that comes free to users.
The fact Google have made a success of displaying adverts around free content is something any website owner could learn a valuable lesson from, especially media owners.
Over the course of the coming weeks and months, it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.
Google will unlikely budge much and be more than happy to remove news listings in Australia altogether and allow media owners to do their own self promotion in attracting more readers to it’s online portals.