Belgian Newspapers cry “Retaliation” by Google after lawsuit -there’s a lesson here.


Here’s the story as reported in Search Engine Land. A Belgian newspaper consortium sues Google for copyright infringement for indexing their content in Google News. They win. And thus they lose.

The court ordered fine was not small. 25,000 Euros for each instance and day of non-compliance. In addition Google has to get specific permission from publishers in Belgium before indexing it in Google News. (that’s yet another impediment for them to do business in Belgium…nice going guys)

So Google has complied. Completely. It has removed (de-indexed) the paper’s listings from its main search index completely. They thought that being indexed in Google News was costing them traffic? Nice going guys. NOT being indexed in Google is going to make that traffic loss look like chump change.

Here’s the lesson.

Evaluate the total value of a relationship before you burn that bridge. If you are going to try and burn someone in court, you may want to consider the possibility that this person will take ALL of their marbles and go home.

And another lesson.

Online marketing is about relationships. Some pieces of a relationship may work for you and some against. If you cannot work WITH people, you will end up, bitter and alone. ūüėČ So, note to Copiepresse… the newspaper organization… don’t be that guy. Form relationships. Work within those relationships. Do not burn bridges. The toes you step on may be connected to the butt that you need to kiss tomorrow. ( insert 100 other applicable cliches here)

The final lesson.

I am NOT saying that Google is always right…or fair for that matter. I think that is an ideal that cannot be reached. I AM saying that in MOST cases, they are pretty open and transparent. In ALL cases, they have a HUGE number of eyeballs going to their site. And as such, a flimsy little newspaper (by comparison) or any other site for that matter, needs to realize that on totality, Google is providing them a good deal rather than arrogantly thinking they are on equal footing.

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