Google will limit some users’ access to California news sites.

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FILE – On August 28, 2018 in Portland, OR, a cursor moves over a Google search engine page. A company built on quickly finding answers to people’s questions suddenly finds itself tying to answer a form of artificial intelligence that has long rivaled it. Microsoft is now deploying to attack its dominant search engine. Google’s ability to stop it, combined with fears of a Microsoft attack, sent the stock price of Google’s corporate parent down nearly 8% on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, in a selloff that netted $100 billion in shareholder value. More wealth was wiped out. (AP Photo/Dan Ryan, File)

Google announced Friday that it will remove links to California news sites from its search results for some users as it continues to push back against a pending state bill that would require the company to pay publishers. Will be needed.

In a blog post published Friday, the search company said the bill, officially known as the California Journalism Preservation Act, would change the company’s business model.

If signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill would require tech companies like Google to pay news outlets a “journalistic usage fee” when they sell ads alongside news content. .

“We’ve long said this is the wrong way to support journalism. If CJPA passes, it could result in significant changes to the services we can offer Californians and The traffic we can deliver to California publishers,” Jafar Zaidi, vice president of global news partnerships at Google, said in the post.

The company also announced that it is “making further investments in California’s news ecosystem, including new partnerships through the Google News Showcase, licensing programs for our product and news organizations, and the planned Google News Initiative.” Expansion included.”

Google has partnered with “more than 7,000 news publishers worldwide, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone” for its Google News initiative. This initiative has helped provide grants and training on digital tools to journalists.

However, expansion efforts have also been put on hold “until there is clarity on California’s regulatory environment,” the blog said.

“By helping people find news, we help publishers of all sizes grow their audiences at no cost,” Zaidi wrote. “CJPA will eliminate that model.”

Many news outlets rely on traffic from Google and Facebook to distribute news, but they are subject to the companies’ algorithms.

Publishers like the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and more have laid off a significant number of staff due to reduced revenue in part due to a lack of print journalism and fewer advertising dollars.

Supporters of the bill say it will level the playing field for news outlets that have struggled to gain a digital audience. Conversely, critics, including Google, say the bill would favor media groups and hedge funds, thereby hurting smaller outlets.

Zaidi also noted that only 2% of search queries on Google search are news-related because many people now get their news from short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, or from the news industry entirely. are avoided.

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