Google News SERP Experiment – It Was A Difficult Time

Google News SERP Testing EU Directive

Google News SERP Experiment – It Was A Difficult Time

It appears I was one of those chosen to be part of Google’s recent Search Engine Results Page (SERP) experiment.

Google stripped images, titles and descriptions from the search result. Something which Google say could happen if the EU approve the EU Copyright Directive.

I search for news via Google a lot, and whilst I don’t want to be too annoyed (to avoid Adam’s suspicions that I may be procrastinating), I thought it was just a really annoying error – as no one else around me was having the same problem.

It meant I had to manually type in a web address. Something I didn’t think I had to do in 2019.

Google SERP Testing
Image Credit: Search Engine Land

According to Google:

“All versions of the experiment resulted in substantial traffic loss to news publishers.

“Even a moderate version of the experiment (where we showed the publication title, URL and video thumbnails) led to a 45% reduction in traffic to news publishers.” 

45% – That’s almost half the traffic lost!

Google has been a big voice against Article 11 and Article 13 of the European Copyright Directive. The changes would mean news aggregators (such as Google) would be required to pay licensing fees for snippets of content. The latter would require social and search platforms to monitor and screen content uploads for copyright infringement, or face liability.

As we know, the EU is not shy of issuing fines to Google and the other big tech firms too.

Google says that the new Directive would harm the creative economy in Europe, and increase low-quality journalism.

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