Google has been locked in a nasty battle with a group of German publishers for several years, with the troop complaining that the tech company’s web search results were making their online articles available to the public. But after two weeks of restricted access to Google News results, major news publisher Axel Springer has changed its mind.
The media giant admitted that its web traffic suffered greatly from this decision and that it’s decided to let Google return to showing snippets from Springer news stories in its search results. According to a report from Reuters, Axel Springer saw a 40 percent traffic decrease from clicks on Google search and traffic by way of Google News dropped 80 percent during the two week period.
The decision most likely wasn’t easy, but the publisher’s chief executive Mathias Doepfner discussed the matter as if he didn’t have a choice, saying [we would’ve] “shot ourselves out of the market” if it had continued its fight. Doepfner tried to argue that such a major decrease in traffic only reinforced his company’s claims about Google’s control of the web search market.
Google has encountered similar opposition in other countries, with Spain recently adopting new laws that affect the way aggregators display content in web search results. However, if more company’s see similar side effects after disconnecting themselves from Google, Axel Springer likely won’t be the last publisher to have a change of heart.