Google’s Intention: Eliminating Canadian News Publishers from Search Results

**Alphabet to Remove Links to News from Canadian Publishers Following New Law**

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced that it will remove links to news from Canadian publishers on its search engine, in response to a new law introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. The Online News Act requires digital platforms to pay local news outlets, which Alphabet argues creates uncertainty and exposes them to financial liability for providing Canadians with access to news from Canadian publishers. The links will be removed once the law takes effect.

**Meta Platforms Inc. Follows Suit on Facebook and Instagram**

Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has also announced that it will end the availability of news on its platforms for all users in Canada. Both Alphabet and Meta have previously tested blocking news on their platforms. Tech giants have raised concerns that the new law would require them to pay for content without economic benefits, while the government argues that it will bring much-needed revenue to Canada’s struggling media sector, which has seen numerous closures in recent years.

**Alphabet’s History of Removing News from Its Platform**

This is not the first time that Alphabet has taken such action. In 2014, the company shut down Google News in Spain after a law was passed requiring news aggregators to pay publishers. The service became available again last year following an updated copyright law. In addition to blocking news in Canada, Alphabet will also end its negotiated agreements with 150 news publications in the country.

**The Impact on Canadian News Outlets and Users**

In 2022, Google linked to Canadian news publications over 3.6 billion times, generating referral traffic valued at C$250 million ($189 million) annually. Alphabet’s decision to remove news links and end negotiated agreements could make it harder for Canadians to find news online and for journalists to reach their audiences. The move may also reduce valuable web traffic to Canadian publishers.

**Government and News Media Canada Responses**

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez criticized big technology firms for prioritizing changes to their platforms to block Canadians from accessing local news instead of paying the organizations that produce it. Rodriguez emphasized the importance of a strong, free, and independent press for Canadian democracy. News Media Canada, which represents 500 outlets in the country, condemned Alphabet’s move and called for all stakeholders to engage in the regulatory process to ensure fair and balanced regulation.


Alphabet’s decision to remove news links from Canadian publishers on its search engine is a result of the Online News Act introduced by the Canadian government. The move follows a similar decision made by Meta Platforms Inc. While the tech giants argue that the law unfairly requires them to pay for content with no economic benefits, the government believes it will provide much-needed revenue to the struggling Canadian media sector. The impact of this decision on Canadian news outlets, journalists, and users remains to be seen, but it is clear that it has sparked controversy and debate.

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