Have you heard of a scraper website? It is a website that takes information from other sites and then positions it as their own. Google hates scraper websites, and ranks them very low in the search results. But when you think about it, isn’t Google a scraper website? Let me explain.
Google Steals News
If you do a search for something in the news, there is a strong chance you are using Google to do that. When you do the search, about 50% of the time you will get all the information you need from Google. In some cases, you will actually click on the news search result and read the entire article.
News publishers are upset about this. Google is getting big traffic by having access to all of this news. They are basically scraping other websites, displaying most of the article (or at least the important parts) and thus becoming the source of the content in Google News. In many parts of Europe, they have had enough. According to Search Engine Land, “Across Europe various legislative and litigious efforts, in France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and now Spain have sought to compensate publishers for the perceived unfairness by taxing Google, and others seen as benefiting from news content without paying for it.”
Google Steals Info for Knowledge Graph
Outside of news, Google is also taking information from websites and displaying it in their Knowledge Graph. For example, do a search for “How Old is Barack Obama” and you will get the exact answer, but pulled from Wikipedia. This makes it so that Google no longer sends traffic to websites, but instead, simply steals their content and uses it as their own. But that is not all, Google is displaying important information from recipes, events and articles, right in search results! As Google gets bigger and bigger, they will be taking more information from websites and showing it directly in search.
Where will this Head?
Websites around the world are getting increasingly upset with Google’s decision to no longer provide an index of content, but instead, to take their content and serve the information the user is looking for. If Google keeps this up we can expect the following things to happen.
- People will get more upset
- Websites will lose more traffic
- Eventually Google will get slapped with more taxes and fines
This will be interesting to watch. As Google has gotten bigger, it seems they have strayed away from their conscience and “don’t be evil” is a thing of the past.