Aussies may no longer be able to ‘Google It’ anymore. Google voiced this threat last week to a Federal Senate committee.
With Google accounting for 95% of all Australian web searches, it comes as no surprise that the thought of Google disappearing from Australian shores is a cause for concern. Although it is unlikely that Google would pull its AU$4.3 billion Search business from Australia, it is still important to understand why this threat has come to pass.
The News Media Bargaining Code written by the ACCC is being developed to form, ”a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and digital platforms” – specifically Google and Facebook. Google’s official response from Mel Silva, Managing Director for Google Australia, is worth hearing.
Alternatives to a Google ‘free’ Australia
Bing it! Microsoft Bing is Australia’s second most popular search engine, maintaining 3.74% of current market share. With a similar functionality, look and interface to Google, shifting to Bing would be relatively straightforward for most users. Other alternatives include Yahoo (powered by Bing), ranking third in terms of market share, and DuckDuckGo, a search engine that distinguishes itself from its peers by placing greater emphasis on a searcher’s privacy.
Google’s potential exit may also create the opportunity for Apple to fill the void. With its latest privacy update creating waves in the digital marketing industry, the Financial Times also caught them quietly improving their own search offering in iOS 14. Yes, Apple has begun to nudge the search engine aside to display its own search results by linking directly to websites when users type queries from its home screen. This web search capability marks an important advancement in Apple’s in-house development. Additionally, the tech juggernaut recently hired Google’s Head of Search, John Giannandrea. It is clear Apple is paving a way into Search and so it’ll be interesting to see how great an impact Apple can make in the Search monopoly.
To learn more about the proposed changes, feel free to reach out to Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.