In the wake of an inane new law in Spain that requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not, Google did the only sensible thing: Google Shut Down Spanish News Operations.

After 9/11, one of our engineers, Krishna Bharat, realized that results for the query “World Trade Center” returned nothing about the terrorist attacks. And it was also hard to compare the news from different sources or countries because every web site was a silo. That’s how Google News was born and today the service is available in more than 70 international editions, covering 35 languages.

It’s a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain. It’s free to use and includes everything from the world’s biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers. Publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News — and the vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues.

But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.

For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet changed all that — creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers’ attention and for advertising Euros increased. We’re committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues.

Posted by Richard Gingras, Head of Google News

News Vacuum

There is absolutely no way, anyone, anywhere, benefits from a news vacuum other than corrupt leaders and tiny media outlets that support corrupt leaders.

Spanish publications may think they won a victory, but they will soon find out otherwise when their traffic slumps and ad revenue right along with it.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock