Google is battling against Australian enactment to pay news publishers while consenting to an arrangement to pay French publishers. So, what is the matter?
The conflict between Google and Australia began when Google continued to disagree with pending enactment that would force Google to pay Australian publishers for showing their content in Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).
At the same time, Google has simultaneously signed a deal to pay French publishers for their content.
The whole matter revolves around a battle between Google and Australia with respect to the News Media Bargaining Code.
If we take a closer look at both the agreements, that of French and Australia, there is much more difference to it.
In 2020, French readers observed that news snippets and extracted results from European publishers pulled from the SERPs with regards to a copyright law that was passed.
In October, Google reported that they were contributing $1 billion over three years to pay distributors for content exhibited on Google News Showcase.
The contract with France permits Google to negotiate individual licenses, whereas payment will be based on particular and measurable measurements.
According to the French agreement, Google will be paying on behalf of the reader for any content published behind paywalls, allowing users access to content that is exclusive to only those readers who are willing to pay.
The major difference between the French agreement and the Australian agreement is that the Australian publishers seek compensation when Google links their content in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) while providing advance notice of “deliberate algorithm changes” that would affect the news media business.
In a Senate hearing that took place on 22nd Of January, Mel Silva, Google Australia’s Managing Director, stated the issues with the News Media Bargaining Code and proposed three major technical amendments that would make the Code “agreeable” to them.
First one is
“Rather than payment for links and snippets, the Code could designate News Showcase, and allow Google to reach commercial agreements to pay Australian news publishers for value in addition to the valuable traffic we already provide through Search.”
Google was essentially providing the same offer that was agreed with France where French publishers are ready to operate through the Google News Showcase, and payment would be made to those publishers by Google.
If Australia agrees to the deal offered by Google, it will have two benefits as their content would be available in organic search results as well as in the Google News Showcase.
Nonetheless, no payment would be made for content shown in organic search results; only news stories within the Showcase will receive compensation.
“The Code’s final offer arbitration model, with biased criteria, represents an unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google. If the Code is substituted with standard commercial arbitration in accordance with comparable deals, it would encourage good faith negotiations and ensure we’re held accountable by robust dispute resolution.”
The same point was discussed in the blog post published by Google, which describes eight reasons why the News Media Bargaining Code is unagreeable.
Google thinks that the arbitration process wouldn’t consider the advantages that publishers will get from Google, and it would be unfairly biased towards the publisher’s costs.
And Finally, the third one –
“The algorithm notification provision could be modified to require only acceptable notice about major actionable changes to Google’s algorithm, to make sure publishers are able to respond to changes that affect them.”
Google thinks that this aspect of the Code would fundamentally mean the company gives news publishers special treatment that would leave other businesses that use organic search as a medium to advertise their business at a disadvantage.
Why Google Is Disputing The News Media Bargaining Code –
Adding more to the three points described in Silva’s opening statement at the Senate hearing, Google further explained why they were opposed to the potential legislation but supportive of a fair Code in the blog post.
Additional points specify that the Code agreement would fundamentally break Google Search, and it will leave no option for Google but to pull their services from Australia.
Furthermore, Google also provided other references who agree that organic search should remain a free commodity, where no payment is required by either party to fill the search results.
Google emphasized again that they are more than willing to pay news publishers but only for the content shown in Google News Showcase while making “reasonable amendments to the arbitration model”; nonetheless, it is not clear in the post how and what that would look like.
Lastly, Google points out that they don’t show whole articles but rather leverage the algorithm to link users to articles. Thus they are not accountable for declining newspaper revenue and that the search engine makes major and substantial contributions to Australia every year.
The Treasurer and the Minister for Communications published a joint media release on the 8th of December to “address the bargaining power imbalance between news media businesses and digital platforms.”
The joint media release stated that the Code would apply only to Google Search and Facebook News Feed initially and that other platforms could be further added in the future should they showcase a ‘bargaining power imbalance’.
As a result, if the Code does go through, other search engines could find themselves facing similar demands.
It is clear that Google has no problem paying to news publishers for the content shown in the Google News Showcase, but they have issues with paying for organic results and the terms and conditions outlined in the Code.
Moreover, is it only about Google being targeted by the Code? Would this put tech giants at a disadvantage as other companies would not have to legally pay news publishers to advertise their content in the organic search results?
Just think about a day when you haven’t used an app on your phone? Not a single day, right?
Mobile phones and apps are inseparable parts of our lives now, and no one can deny that for sure.
Now, as a small or midsize business, if you think that your business doesn’t need a mobile app – then you might need to rethink your opinion again.
Gone are the days where a mobile-friendly website was sufficient for a business to operate online effectively.
Regardless of the size of a business, it is essential to have a mobile app to facilitate the customers and level up brand value by that.
It is not fair to think that only big companies and businesses can have access to mobile apps for their business; small and mid-sized businesses have many benefits of developing mobile apps for their business.
In this blog, we have discussed the benefits of mobile apps for small and midsize businesses.
Developing a mobile app for your business helps you connect with your customers directly while improving the brand authority and value.
Over 81% of customers prefer to purchase a product or service with a mobile app rather than from a website; this is just one out of many other reasons to build a mobile app for your business.
It is not just big brands like Walmart and Bank of America that have their own mobile apps, but many small businesses have their mobile apps.
The number of small businesses owning a mobile app is increasing day by day as a response to the current trend of being ahead of the time by implementing innovative mobile app strategies.
There are many more other reasons that will make you think again about your mobile app development decision.
If you notice carefully, you will find that many small businesses have dedicated mobile apps to interact with their customers and provide value to their life.
So, let’s jump over to the top 11 benefits of having a mobile app for your business –
According to a study, more than 79% of people spend almost 3 hours a day on their mobile devices while engaging with the installed apps on the phones.
Though there are thousands of mobile applications that a user may be having on his phone, and you think that your application will not be able to perform well or may get neglected in the crowd of millions of other apps, that will not be the case always.
Even if users don’t use your business application regularly, your app’s presence in their phone will work as a reminder whenever they are requiring products or services that you are offering.
By developing a mobile app, a business can offer multiple information like general information, prices, specials offers and discounts for app users, and many more things.
Developing an app with features like a search bar improves the user experience while providing personalized accounts ensures security privacy and customization.
Moreover, push notifications are a great way to notify users about upcoming events, ongoing sales, offers, discounts, or any other important information – doing so improves a business’s communication with customers.
Remember those loyalty programs that businesses used to have in order to gain popularity and increase the numbers of returning customers?
Same wise, a business can execute the same model but with a different approach – an approach that involves the latest technologies and digitization.
For example, a business can provide instant rewards or points that a user can use later to make another purchase or get discounts in the future.
Transforming traditional marketing approaches into the digital one is the smartest way to level-up your business’s performance.
Mobile apps are a great way to improve customer’s engagement with your business.
For example, a business can carry out a contest on their mobile app or build highly engaging, attractive, and useful functions for their customers.
Announcing contests and other engaging events will improve customers’ time spent on a mobile app and thus their association with your brand and business.
According to the thumb rule of effective frequency, hearing or seeing a brand approximately 20 times makes a strong impression in the customer’s mind, and it will impact the purchase decision indirectly.
Additionally, beautifully designed mobile apps are more likely to attract more downloads and usage.
Imagine you want to book a product or a service, but you are running out of time and have a really tight schedule that you don’t have time to place a call?
Many more customers might be facing the same situation, and in such cases having inbuilt messaging or help desk or a system that supports customers in placing a quick order.
Though many businesses in various industries have their mobile apps, the numbers are still very less.
By developing a mobile app, you have already become one of the early industry leaders to embrace innovation, and it gives your customers a value that your business is really ahead of its time.
In current times, customers prefer to have a facility within reach of their phone.
Word-of-mouth recommendations and website visits are becoming a little out of date, and customers like to purchase whenever and however they want to, and mobile apps accomplish their preferences.
Mobile apps are also a great way of marketing your products and services as an app grabs the target audience’s attention and improves the overall visibility of a business.
Same as a creative and responsive website, a user-friendly app is the one thing that any business must have in order to improve their reach to customers.
According to one study, people search the most while travelling, socializing, or waiting for an appointment rather than in their free time.
So, when potential customers require a product or a service, they are more likely to open their phone and look for a solution rather than browsing through a website.
Some of the more reasons behind customers love using an app is that apps are quicker, more interactive, and easier to navigate compared to websites and flexibility of making purchases at any time of the day.
So long story short – website support in creating brand awareness while an app improves sales ratio.
Just look around yourself and you will find that almost all the people are busy with their phones.
The number of mobile users are increasing day by day. Out of 10 customers, 7 customers make their online purchase with a mobile app.
So, when your business doesn’t have a mobile app, the danger of the phenomenon called “buy and bye” occurs.
“Buy and bye” is a situation where a customer visits a website, explores a great product, purchases it, and never visits again after.
Having a mobile app decreases the chances of the “buy and bye” phenomenon and improves the number of returning customers.
Another benefit of developing a mobile app is customer loyalty.
As there are thousands of other ways, businesses reach their customers like cold emails, websites, Facebook ads, social media promotions, roadside banners, billboards, flashing signs, and newspaper ads – businesses slowly and gradually lose their impact on customers.
But with a mobile application, a business can build a sincere and long-term connection with their customers.
Mobile App is one more way to stay closer to your customers while being just a “fingertip” away at all times.
Having a mobile app for your business means having more access to the data that supports understanding the customers and planning future marketing campaigns and strategies accordingly.
For example, the more data you capture about your customers, the more effective your customer service and marketing will be.
When a customer explores your app, you can study their behavior pattern, discover the most popular products among the customer base, and as you will be having their phone numbers and email addresses, you can use it further for your marketing purposes.
There are a lot more benefits of developing a mobile app for your business, and the above-mentioned are some of the benefits that are more obvious and visible on the surface.
Other than the above-discussed benefits, a business can do location-based marketing, customer tracking, and the ability to leave reviews and feedback within the app that adds more value to the business.
Sooner or later, a mobile app is going to be the norm of the industry, and it will be in the list of “must-haves” and not just as an option for a business to opt for.
On the 17th of September, Google announced that it would soon start crawling some sites over HTTP/2 beginning November 2020.
For those who don’t know about HTTP/2 – it is the next generation of HTTPS, an internet protocol primarily used for transferring data.
HTTPS/2 requires less open connections and thus can be more effective on your server when crawling your web pages.
However, crawling your site over HTTP/2 has no benefits on Google rankings.
What Is HTTP/2?
HTTP/2 is an upgraded version of the HTTP network protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP/2 originated from the earlier experimental SPDY developed by Google. It was developed by the HTTP Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
“HTTP/2 will make our applications faster, simpler, and more robust — a rare combination — by allowing us to undo many of the HTTP/1.1 workarounds previously done within our applications and address these concerns within the transport layer itself. Even better, it also opens up a number of entirely new opportunities to optimize our applications and improve performance.”
HTTP/2, also known as h2, is more effective and efficient compared to other versions, and thus Google is taking these steps.
“We expect this change to make crawling more efficient in terms of server resource usage. With h2, Googlebot is able to open a single TCP connection to the server and efficiently transfer multiple files over it in parallel, instead of requiring multiple connections. The fewer connections open, the fewer resources the server and Googlebot have to spend on crawling.”
Going further, Google said starting from November 2020; it will slowly and gradually begin with a small number of sites and increasing support for more sites with the time.
In an initial phase, Google will only take up those sites that may benefit from the supported features like request multiplexing – said Google.
According to Google, it is fine if your server still only talks HTTP/1.1. It will have no explicit drawback for crawling over HTTP/1.1 protocol; crawling will remain the same, quality and quantity-wise.
According to Google, there are three primary benefits of HTTP/2 crawling –
There will be fewer TCP connections open, and thus it will decrease the number of resources spent.
The size of an HTTP header will be reduced significantly, resulting in the saving of the resources.
Though this feature is not yet implemented as it is still in the development phase; it will be beneficial for rendering.
In order to verify the support of HTTP/2 for the site, one can ask a host or a developer to examine it.
If the site is eligible for being crawled over h2 and it would be beneficial to both the site and Googlebot, it will automatically do – One can not request for it.
If the bot finds that crawling over h2 would not result in significant resource savings, then it will continue to crawl the site over HTTP/1.1.
Though there are no issues or negative impact on indexing while opting for HTTP/2 crawl, Google understands that one may still want to opt-out for various reasons.
In order to opt-out, one needs to instruct the server to respond with a 421 HTTP status code when Googlebot attempts to crawl a website over h2. If that is not feasible, one can send a message to the Googlebot team.
When a site gets crawled by HTTP/2, a message pops-up in Google Search Console.
According to Google, the message may read something like “Some of the crawling traffic may be over h2 going forward.
Moreover, Google adds that one can also check serve log to ensure the HTTP/2 crawling.
Google says it totally depends on the site owner. If Google finds that crawling over HTTP/2 will benefit the site and Googlebot, then only it will automatically switch to h2.
And if that will not be the case, it will continue to crawl over HTTP/1.1.
By talking to the server administrator or hosting provider.
No, a website must use HTTPS and support HTTP/2 in order to be eligible for crawling over HTTP/2.
ALPN (Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation) will only be used for sites that are opted into crawling over h2, and the only accepted protocol for responses will be h2. So, if the server responds during the TLS handshake with a protocol version other than h2, Googlebot will back off and come back later on HTTP/1.1.
Last year Google introduced a new and exciting feature that shows you relevant content, even when you are not searching for it.
The feature is gaining popularity day by day and over 800 million people use the feed each month to enjoy the latest and relevant content based on their interests.
Google updated a new feature called “Discover” with a fresh look and a brand new set of features.
With Discover, we can surf and explore more appealing and fresh visual content.
Despite the fact that Google web Stories appears almost the same as other stories features on various platforms, Google Web Stories has some variation.
The research concluded by Valentin Pletzer tells us that 61% of the stories lasted between 1 hour to 24 hours, whereas 6% lasted only for an hour.
The data was collected from 6,000 URLs of more than 1,300 different publishers and out of which 66% of those URLs were Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP).
Going further, 17% of those stories lasted for one to two days and on the other hand, 7% for two to three days.
Nevertheless, 9% of those stories last over three days on Google Discover.
The minimum time of a story lasting on Google Discover was 70 seconds, and the maximum one for 710 days – almost for two years.
Take a look at these two pictures to understand the data provided more clearly –
You must know the major falls and ups your website experiences when there is an update from Google.
Google updates are the most annoying as well as an exciting thing for your SEO team, based on the performance of your website.
“Google Dance” is a period when Google is rebuilding its ranking and fluctuates heavily for a short period; ranging from 3 to 5 days.
In other words, it also refers to the high amount of uncertainty that a new asset like a website and webpage faces on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). By doing so, Google tries to determine what position to offer to the website in the index rankings.
In the video uploaded by Google Search Central on 18th of December 2020, John Mueller was asked the question that “During the core update rollout, is it like the quality of the website is calculated from the overall site signals, and then this site quality score is propagated to every page gradually, page by page? Is it possible that some pages drop and some pages surge, and the overall traffic to the domain remains the same?”
In answer to that question, John Muller says you can see parts or portions of your website go up or down after an algorithm update. The reason for that is that some of Google’s algorithms not only try to look at the “bigger picture of the website” but also “look at smaller parts of a website.”
Going further, he says that it depends of course. It depends on the particular algorithm, and what scores the algorithm can generate at a granular level and what it has to assume or guess for the other pages it does not have enough information to generate at that granular level.
Explaining further, John says that “And it’s also that there are always a lot of different things that come out with regards to search, and some are a little bit more focused on the domain or on a bigger picture of the website. Some are focused more on smaller parts of a website.”
Each time there is a Google update, it tests and verifies the quality and performance of a webpage and a website, and then assigns the ranking to that particular website accordingly.
There are some factors, and based on that Google Dance happens. These factors are: –
Age – The newer the website, the higher the chances of fluctuation.
Competitiveness – If there is more competition on the keyword you are targeting or the industry or locality you are in, the more will be the fluctuation.
Link Building – The numbers of link building also affect the fluctuation of the website.
Strength of links – The more powerful links, the more fluctuation.
Modification – If there are any major changes like new launching of a webpage or website or redesigning of the website, there are more chances of fluctuation.
The Google dance depends on the same factor as “why” s. The higher the dominance of any of the factors, the more chances of bouncing rank. Imagine after a lot of fluctuation your website still doesn’t end up where you want it to be, and you start building more links or other changes to push it to the first page, the chances of fluctuation will be there again.
Even after you rank on the first page and on the first position, there is no guarantee that your site will rank on first forever. You need to work constantly on ranking factors to keep competing and winning the race.
There is no way that you can prevent your site from not getting affected by the Google algorithm dance. It is totally okay for the website to fluctuate every now and then; you don’t need to panic and just keep practicing the best SEO practice to minimize the effect of Google algorithm updates.
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