December 23, 2014 Last Updated 8:38 am

Google and Spanish news outlets search for News workaround

North Korea temporarily loses its Internet service, few websites complain of lost Google AdSense revenue

The Spanish and Germans must be jealous. North Korea loses its entire Internet yesterday, and not a single media website complained about its loss of traffic and ad revenue. And, this time, no one is blaming Google for pulling the plug on them.

Meanwhile, back in Spain, Google’s Google News site is still shut down. If you recall, Spain passed a law, now referred to as the Google tax, that would require search engines to pay news providers for displaying their content snippets in search results. The new law forces all media outlets to force the issue, no exceptions. The idea was that by presenting a solid front, Google would fold and start paying Spanish newspapers money.

Some U.S. tech sites are, embarrassingly, claiming that Google has found a workaround by adding a News tab on its Google search engine. But, of course, if you’ve even actually used Google before, you would see the same tab on all the Google results, so the News tab is not new.


But if Google users get used to using the tab, and media outlets don’t object, they will have found a workaround to the problem of the Spanish Google News site being shutdown, and give time in January for legislators to repeal the law.

But… all it would take would be for one or two media outlets to object. We all know how competitive media execs are, and if they want to introduce a fly into the soup they can.

Paul Blake and I are starting work on the relaunch issue of App Publisher. There will be more news on this front as we enter January, but we see the first issue appearing in early February most likely.

The digital-only magazine about digital publishing will expand to six issues a year. We will also be eliminating the monthly subscription option – the reason being that publishers find it hard to hang on to there readers while Apple is constantly reminding them that they can cancel their monthly subscription. So, if you really like that option, I recommend signing up for a month subscription now.

The first issue will not feature a major redesign of the magazine as Paul and I have decided to walk before we run. We are committed to making this work, so it is best if we first establish a regular publishing schedule, contributors, regular features, etc. So, don’t expect a revolutionary rethinking of the digital magazine format, at least not immediately. Give us time.

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