Google News Shutdown Not Such a Bad Thing in Spain: Many Publishers Witnessed Increased Traffic to News Sites

On Nov. 14, the News Media Alliance published an analysis on the impact to Spanish news publishers of the closure of Google News in Spain in 2014. Opponents of the European Union’s recently-adopted Publishers’ Right have used Spain’s experience with a similar law as an argument against expanding protections for news publishers more widely. However, the Alliance’s review of publicly available data and discussions with European stakeholders challenges this view. The data reviewed by the Alliance indicate that those Spanish news publishers included in the analysis were minimally affected and that the reduction in traffic to publisher websites following the closing of Google News was, if anything, low and temporary. Since 2014, online traffic trends for select Spanish news sites seem to have remained largely unchanged, with the total number of unique monthly visitors actually increasing with many publishers. In addition, cutting out the middle-man benefits news publishers in the form of more valuable direct traffic. You can find the full analysis, containing more statistics and examples, here.

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