The Google News service is back in Spain from today. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has decided to restart its news aggregator after eight years of inactivity to coincide with its 20th birthday. According to the company, its return was made possible by updating the copyright law with reference to Royal Decree 24/2021 of November last year, which transposes European directives on copyright and on the digital single market.
Google News shut down in Spain in 2014 when the previous Intellectual Property Law was passed, which recognized the “inalienable right” of publishers to receive remuneration from news aggregators. The regulation establishes that any negotiations must be conducted through the managing organization. The Royal Decree of November removes this inherent nature of the collection and establishes that the amount to be received by each media outlet from which news is collected will be negotiated separately.
The service will be available in the app or web version (news.google.com). According to the company, Google News will allow users to identify information of interest, and editors to find new readers. Google’s commitment is that its service “helps readers find news from reliable and well-verified sources.” The choice of information to be displayed in the aggregator will be made automatically. Technology sources explain that there is no set number of media from which these snippets will be retrieved: “Our systems automatically detect new high-quality informational websites,” they note.
“With so much news, it can be overwhelming to know where to start or what to believe,” Fuencisla Clemares, Google’s vice president for Spain and Portugal, says in a company blog. The executive hopes that Google News will solve this problem by compiling information from international, national, local and specialized media that “helps readers gain a broader understanding of what is happening around them.”
The Google News tool shows a selection of top news in the first menu, and then other sections such as local news or topic collections (sports, science and technology, politics, etc.). The user can customize the main display according to their interests. And the reader’s own browsing history gives the tool clues to prioritize certain topics over others in the For You section.
In addition to re-introducing Google News, the company has been in talks with Spanish publishers for some time to re-activate the Google News Showcase in Spain, the technology company’s platform that allows media outlets to publish their information to the search engine in the way that works best for them (with timeline, with highlights, related news, etc.).
When the company announced it was launching the Google News Showcase in 2020, it said it was exploring the possibility of paying $1,000 million (about €850 million) to publishers over the next three years to include information from their headlines in the tool.
“Consumption habits are changing, different generations are accessing our content from different platforms and devices. That Google decides to re-launch Google News in Spain is great news as it will make it easier for citizens to access quality information,” says José Gutiérrez, CEO Solutions, Digital & Technology, PRISA Media, editor of EL PAÍS.
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