Google tells Senate Committee ‘we help publishers’

Google Australia’s managing director Jason Pellegrino told the Senate Committee into Public Interest Journalism today that Google is helping news publishers by driving traffic to their sites and by sharing revenue with them.

Questioned by Senators Dastyari, Xenophon and Singh, he said that Google is also active in fighting fake news with its news algorithm and ‘trusted flagging’ procedures to identify fake content. 

“People can give us notice of problematic content and we will act on it,” he said. 

More than 1000 publishers make content avail in Google News. The criteria for being verified as a news site in Google includes:

  1. There has to be original content
  2. It must be timely and relevant
  3. It must accurately reflect content on the broader website 

“How do publishers get approved?” asked Senator Singh. “They apply and we review the application,” replied Pellegrino.

Joseph Pellegrino told the committee that Google Australia made $121 million profit and paid 27% tax on that amount. 

Senator Xenophon pushed him on that point, disputing the figure and quoting other reports, which said it was over $3 million. 

Explaining the discrepancy, Pellegrino pointed out that some of that figure would likely be money going direct to publishers, which is not revenue received by Google. He said that both small and large publishers benefit from such revenue. It is especially beneficial to small publishers according to Pellegrino.

See our coverage of that discussion at the Senate Committee hearing.

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