Google’s search engine and Facebook’s news aggregation platform have been at the centre of a bitter political row over who should have the right to make the most of search rankings.
The feud has pitted Google and the social networking giant against the Irish Times, which has said it will launch an online tool to help people find content that’s more likely to be clicked on.
The Irish-language newspaper has asked for a number of proposals to be submitted by Thursday.
Google, Facebook and Twitter are fighting for control of the search results, with the social media giant insisting that it has the right and the newspaper insisting that the tech giants have no such rights.
In a recent opinion piece, the Irish newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Paul Kelly, wrote that the debate was being used to try to “set up a political war over search rankings” and warned that it would have “unrealistic consequences” for the newspaper.
The newspaper said it would be making an application to Google and then Facebook, and that it is not opposed to the idea of a wider set of proposals being submitted, but would rather have the debate decided on its own.
The proposal submitted to Google by the Irish-based company, which is based in Dublin, is based on the idea that search engines should have greater power to decide which stories get to be ranked higher than others.
It would allow Google to “take into account the fact that a particular site or network is more likely (than others) to rank as more highly on search engines, and to determine which of these sites or networks should be selected for ranking on those search engines,” according to the proposal.
Google has said that the idea is a proposal that is “not related to the search engines themselves, but instead relates to the way users search”.
Google’s spokesperson said that Google has been exploring ways to give the news aggregator a “voice in the search ranking algorithm” and is considering proposals from both sides.
However, Facebook’s spokesperson pointed out that “the Google proposal would be more likely be adopted by Facebook” and that “it is not in Google’s best interests to allow its competitors to take a more active role in the ranking algorithm”.
The Irish News, the English language edition of the newspaper, has said its proposal will be submitted to the Irish Parliament.
It said that it “will use the opportunity to explore the proposals submitted to Facebook to understand what we think are the best possible options for us to take part in this debate and to share the results with our readers”.
However, the paper said it is “encouraged by the positive responses from both Google and FB” and hopes that a vote on the proposal will happen “within the next week”.
The company is also planning to set up a new digital platform that will provide users with the ability to choose how they wish to see their news on Facebook.
It is currently “looking at options” to give users a more personalized experience on Facebook, according to a spokesperson.
However a spokesperson for Facebook told The Irish Mail that it does not comment on specific issues or proposals and “all discussions are at the company’s discretion”.
The proposal has sparked criticism from both Facebook and Google, which have denied the idea has any political agenda.
Facebook said that “Google’s proposal does not represent our position on the topic”.
A spokesperson for Google said: “The idea that a political debate about search rankings is being driven by the search engine industry is nonsense.
The Irish Times is looking forward to hearing the proposals and responding in the same spirit.””
It is vital that the people of Ireland take control of their internet experience, so they can make their own decisions about how they want to interact with content and search engines.”
The Irish Times is looking forward to hearing the proposals and responding in the same spirit.