So, if you’re an Australian agency, you’re watching this closely I’m sure. And if you’re not an Australian agency, you should still be tuned in, as this could very well set off unforeseen ripples across the globe as governments grapple with big tech and how to best regulate it. But mostly, you should be considering what this has taught us and where the opportunity is for us in agency land.
In summary, if the Australian government News Media Bargaining Code becomes law, Google is threatening to withdraw their search engine from Australia. And Facebook has just now withdrawn news sharing and viewing from the platform throughout Australia, and Australian media companies are no longer visible on Facebook anywhere in the world. Things are certainly getting spicy between Facebook and the Aussie Government.
However, as paid search peeps here at PPC Samurai HQ, I’m going to focus on Google and the implications in that space. I won’t waste column inches recounting how we got here, however, if this whole argy-bargy is a new situation to you here’s some catch up links:
Media Coverage: https://www.techmeme.com/210121/p36#a210121p36
While Google, Facebook and the Australian government are preparing their war plans and backroom deals, all of us in digital should be considering our own next steps. Of course, we hope that Google (and Facebook) and the Australian government find a path to negotiate through this and we’re heartened that things are looking up after significant commercial deals being struck between Google and Australian media publishers. The Google News Showcase strategy seems to be giving everyone a way to claim a win.
But, more compelling than the above I think is the standout leadership opportunity this showdown presents us. In a world where automation is eating advertising and agencies are looking to show clients they add value beyond the management of campaigns, THIS time, this catalyst, is a golden opportunity to be the leader, to build trust, to be a guide to our clients and to show them we’re proactively protecting them and considering their business needs. And of course, Covid-19 has (and continues to) similarly present us with the same opportunity.
We can be a digital Gandalf for our clients, reinforcing that our value as agencies extends beyond just account optimization and our keyword ninja capabilities. This is how we ensure that our agency remains a priority expense and is a prime example of how we can move our relationship with our clients from tactical to strategic, helping to move the conversation from what-do-I-pay-you-for-if-you-just-automate-stuff to I-couldn’t-manage-without-your-insight.
So, I urge you not to look at Google-Geddon as a will-they/won’t-they event, as the lessons then are easily minimized. I think it’s more meaningful to look at this time through the lens of risk, diversification and revenue upside potential while considering the incredible opportunity we have right now to support our clients and prove to them that we are the digital partner and leader that they absolutely can’t do without.