canada, news, online news act, journalism, marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, facebook, meta, zuckerberg,

Canadian news blocked by Google due to new Online News Act

Canada is experimenting with a new Online News Act, which was passed by parliament on June 22. It aims to balance the struggles of modern journalism by forcing big tech companies to pay the Canadian media for news.

Journalism and marketing historically have always gone hand in hand, making this issue troubling. It is particularly worrisome to affiliate marketing partners who regularly create content for news publications that might send traffic back to them. Brands getting reviewed will now miss out on a good portion of the Canadian market and with it the legitimacy that comes from a review from a trusted source.

The bill isn’t to take effect until six months from now, but tech giants are already responding. Google has said it will simply have to block all Canadian news media. It comes after Meta announced it will also have to block news coming from Canada to its Facebook and Instagram feeds.

On June 22, Meta released a statement that said: “We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18, passed today in Parliament, content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada.”

Google, meanwhile, has called the Canadian law “unworkable”, saying: “The Government has not given us reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to resolve structural issues with the legislation. As a result, we have informed the Government that we have made the difficult decision that when the law takes effect, we will be removing links to Canadian news from our Search, News, and Discover products.”

What does this mean and how may it affect you?

iGaming affiliate marketing is particularly boosted by news outlets, as one of the few mainstream media avenues that is afforded to the iGaming industry due to growing restrictions on gambling marketing. Blogs and targeted banners on news outlets is both a vital source of income for the press and a strong source of marketing acquisition for iGaming brands. Last week, our founder Lee-Ann Johnstone and her guest Julia Logan from Zangoose Digital discussed mainstream news outlets encroaching on iGaming SERP territory on their recent Affiliate Marketing Podcast.

This change could impact how program managers segment thier programs for Canadian traffic and what partnerships they look to engage to maintain search rankings in news on Google. Smaller affiliates can also then take advantage of publishing news on their sites and gaining organic reach.

The minister responsible for the Online News Act, Pablo Rodriguez, told CTV on the 29th, “I’m a bit surprised by Google’s reaction. Around 500 newsrooms closed their doors across the country… and they will continue closing their doors. The status quo is not working because the money is going to the tech giants.”

It’s clear there is a problem with money reaching smaller news sources, which affiliate marketing is a big part of in the SEO segment of program partnerships, but those that oppose this law say it looks like it could cause a lot of havoc and disrupt the current ecosystem in ways that may change things significantly in the long run.

Related Posts

Get the latest affiliate news to your inbox

Join 1000’s of digital marketers who want to keep up to date with Affiliate Marketing trends across all verticals. Sign up to our weekly Newsletter and stay updated with all our industry news, insights and interviews.

Partner Directory