The News Media Bargaining Code – How it Affects SEO Services & Businesses

What is the News Media Bargaining Code?

You may have seen this notice on Google or YouTube when browsing over the month of August. Released on August 17th, this open letter addresses a new Government regulation to be negotiated. It affects the way we search and how we receive information on “every digital platform” (ACCC, 2020). This includes Google, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps & AdWords etc. This is called the News Media Bargaining Code.

According to Google, this code will allow the Australian News & Media to access your data and the way you utilise Google products. This gives the news media an unfair advantage in ranking their content even if your content provides a better result.

On the surface, it may only seem to be a concerning matter between Google and the Australian Government. However, Google has made it clear about how it affects its users and the general Australian public.

How does this code affect SEO services and businesses?


Around 90.8% of Australians use Google to search every day. Therefore, so many businesses rely on Google to be found. It is embedded deeply in our search patterns. We use Google Maps to find a business. We trust the reviews from Google My Business than any other reviewing platform. Aside from the paid ads that Google offer to businesses, many of their services that connect new customers to your business are free. Therefore, it is understandable why Google is so ‘sticky’ with its users.

This code is a matter of privilege given to news and media businesses, allowing them to rank and feature over small businesses. For example, a small restaurant may rank well due to its relevancy, the information and search interest it provides but this will be overruled by a news article on hospitality or likewise. Hence, you can see the concern that Google is trying to raise.

Why you don’t actually need to be concerned


Many news articles exclaim Google’s open letter is just simply “trying to scare Australians. The company doesn’t want to pay for news” (The Guardian, 2020). Whether this is truly a case between Google and the News & Media, you can be rest assured that if Google’s algorithm and rankings are affected, Mink Media will be setting our eyes on ranking for the alternative search engine, BING.

Mink Media SEO services have always been Search Engine Agnostic. That means that the on-page SEO work we do for our client’s websites would be relevant for any search engine, not just Google. We currently track traffic and rankings from BING and have seen a strong correlation between the actions and results achieved between Google and BING. Therefore, we are 100% confident that no matter what media stream, search engine, blog or news article is being used by the wider audience to find products, news or services, our SEO processes will ensure our client’s sites continue to deliver leads.

There will always be a constant revolution of free products and services competing for the top spot.  Google has always been a private company and has always had to decision to charge for their services in the past. There are countless free search engines that people will utilise if we, the general Australian public, were inclined to pay for Google Services.

Mink Media is a step ahead


We aim to stay in the loop, as well as ahead of the game to assure that your business will not fall victim to this code if it does in fact, affect your ranking and search results. We will always showcase through our own website and business model that we can stay on top for our desired keywords. You will not be a victim to trialling and testing. Whatever method we enact, you can be reassured that it will be proven first by Mink Media.

If you are a business owner and would like to get in touch for SEO or website related queries, contact Mink Media on 0426 246 465 or email us at info@minkmedia.com.au

If you’d like to read more about this open letter and some opposing news articles, follow the links below:

https://about.google/intl/ALL_au/google-in-australia/an-open-letter/

https://theconversation.com/googles-open-letter-is-trying-to-scare-australians-the-company-simply-doesnt-want-to-pay-for-news-144573

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/17/google-open-letter-australia-news-media-bargaining-code-free-services-risk-contains-misinformation-accc-says

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/response-to-google-open-letter

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