To Minimize Legal Risk, Google Stops Showing Snippets For Some Publishers

Chris CrumSearchNews

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As you may know, Google and publishers in Germany have been going back and forth for quite some time. Google wants to continue providing search results for news stories like it has for years, but publishers think Google is taking advantage of them, and want to get paid.

This is actually a storyline that gets played out in different countries all over the world, but in Germany, a law went into effect last year that gave publishers explicit rights to their own content except for cases in which single words or small snippets were used, but publishers think that should keep Google from being able to function as usual.

Google has apparently given in to "minimize" legal risks. The company addressed the situation in a blog post. The post is in German, but here's the rough translation via Google Translate:

According to the unanimous opinion was the first newspaper in the world, of all relation Fürnemmen and gedenckwürdigen Historien , published in 1605 in German by Johann Carolus. He followed - almost half a millennium - already the target to achieve with his publication as many readers, so the effect that any newspaper strives to today. Google supports press publishers by forces online to build a community of readers - and to make money.

Every month we derive over half a billion clicks to German news sites. Each of these clicks is worth publishing estimates of the American Newspaper Association According 12-16 cents. In addition, we have distributed in the past three years one billion euros in German advertising partners from the media. For all these reasons, many news providers choose to make their content via the Google Search or Google News available - by FAZ to Süddeutsche from mirror to time - a total of around 5,000 German news sites. But thousands more providers work with Google together as an advertising partner.

Nevertheless, some German publishers have - represented by the collecting society VG Media - recently decided to Google (and other providers) to sue because we text snippets ("snippets") and preview images ("thumbnails") use to alert readers to the pages of the respective publishers. We regret this legal approach very much because every publisher could always decide whether and how its contents are displayed in our services themselves.

Against the background of this action, we will not show snippets and thumbnails of some famous websites like, or, so that publishers who are organized in the VG Media. For these pages we will show only the link to the article and its headline. Other big German providers have the content of members of the VG Media even completely removed . centuries was the reach of the printed paper for publishing houses limited.

The Internet has changed significantly and this brought great opportunities, but also poses significant challenges for publishers with it. Thus, for example, competition has intensified to the attention of readers and advertising income. We see it as our task to support the publishing industry doing to meet these challenges. Therefore, we look forward to further joint work with thousands of publisher partners all over the world and of course in Germany.

Last year, Google avoided having to pay German publishers by making Google News opt-in. Last year, it also announced deals with various countries to handle publisher threats. Arrangements varied from country to country. You can browse some of our past coverage here.

Image via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.