Google Criticizes Canada’s Proposed “Link Tax”

Google has lodged criticism against Canada’s Online News Act. It claims it imposes “link taxes” that could harm search results.

Google is stomping on a Canadian law that would have required search engines to charge publishers for the content they list.

Canada’s Online News Act will require tech companies to deal with news organizations to publish content on their platforms.

It is modeled after legislation that was introduced in Australia last January. If the bill is passed and made law, it may encourage other countries to adopt a similar approach.

Sabrina Geremia is Google Canada’s vice-president, managing director, and managing director. She analyzed the Online News Act proposal via a blog post.

Google’s primary contention is the “link tax,” which Google claims would make news industries worse off.

A stream of revenue from Google can help publishers stay in business in an age when newsrooms are being forced to close because of declining profits.

It is a good thing, but why?

Google claims that the proposal does not define what constitutes a news organization. This could lead to publishers not being rewarded.

The Online News Act also prohibits tech companies from penalizing news organizations they have reached agreements.

Google’s ability to rank search results for news items is therefore limited.

It started in Australia and is now moving to Canada. Learn more with respect to the potential impact of a link tax on search results.

What is a Link Tax?

Google will impose a tax on the money it might have to pay Canadian news agencies in exchange for Google Money.

Although the “tax” would not be paid to the government, it would be paid every time Google links to their content by publishers.

As long as news organizations regularly employ at least two Canadian journalists, they are eligible for compensation.

Google and other technology companies could be forced to compensate publishers who don’t comply with basic journalistic standards by using the broad definition of eligible news businesses.

If they have two Canadian journalists on their payroll, outlets that deliberately spread misinformation may be eligible for the link tax.

As it stands today, the Online News Act would prohibit Google from giving preference to publishers with whom it has agreements.

Google won’t be able to rank pages from these publishers higher than others, even though they are more relevant or of better quality to a query.

Possible Issues Linked to A Link Tax

Google claims that a link tax will “break” search results.

Google is not obligated to pay publishers. It’s about what types of publishers could be paid.

Technically, a Canadian publisher who promotes conspiracy theories regarding current events may be eligible to receive compensation if they have at least two Canadian writers.

Google would not be able to rank these publishers lower in Canadian search results. According to the Online News Act, publishers who receive payment from Google cannot be penalized nor get preferential treatment.

The bill as it stands today would be a significant setback to how Google was designed to work.

It could be a precedent for other countries to impose laws on Google in the long term.

Canada’s House of Commons is currently reviewing the bill. Google stated that it would work with Canada’s government in the coming weeks to improve the legislation.