When the initial reports of the war in Ukraine emerged, I turned to news reports to better understand the rapidly evolving situation: from international media outlets reporting on the impact of the war in Europe, to my local community newspapers reporting on the resulting increase of fuel and food prices in Spain. But with so much news and information out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, or what to believe.
Today, on the global 20th anniversary of Google News, and after an almost eight-year hiatus, Google News is returning to Spain. This is thanks to an updated copyright law allowing Spanish media outlets – big and small – to make their own decisions about how their content can be discovered and how they want to monetise that content.
An illustration of some of the features for Google News on desktop in Spain
Through a dedicated website and app, soon available on Android and iOS, Google News helps readers find news from authoritative sources, from the world's biggest news websites to small, local and specialty publications. And by identifying and organizing links to stories from a wide range of news sources – a key tool in the fight against misinformation – we’re helping readers more easily discover the bigger picture of what’s going on around them. That includes finding more local stories from their communities, understanding the breaking news topics of the day nationally and globally, and seeing which stories have been fact checked by independent organizations.
Making it easier for readers to find the news they’re looking for doesn’t just benefit readers, it also helps publishers. Google News directs readers to publishers’ websites when they click on links – helping drive traffic to their content, where they can show ads and incentivize readers to subscribe. Research showed news consumption in Spain fell when we had to shut down Google News in 2014, and this led to a 10% reduction in traffic to Spanish publishers’ websites — with the greatest impact on smaller publishers.
On top of bringing Google News back to Spain, we’ll be working with publishers to reach agreements and bring Google News Showcase to the country as soon as possible. Google News Showcase is a licensing program and new product experience that pays publishers to curate content for story panels on Google News and Discover. Alongside this, we’ll continue to invest in products, programs and funding via the Google News Initiative.
Journalists play an important role in helping us understand important events as they unfold. They helped us sift through the huge amounts of information around COVID-19 and how it impacted our community. They follow national issues, help bring context to stories that will impact our lives, and they keep us informed about what’s happening in other countries and continents. We hope the return of Google News to Spain helps more people find the news they’re looking for, from diverse, authoritative publishers of all sizes from Spain and beyond, and provides even more support to the journalists and publishers who work tirelessly to deliver the news.