Is A French Revolution Looming For Intellectual Property?

Forget about the algorithm: France has troubles meeting its budget requirements, so it’s turning its attention on Google‘s secret recipe.

A truly radical move — and one coming from the French.

Moreover, that’s truly unexpected, isn’t it?


Google pays as little as 2.4 percent tax on its offshore earnings, compared with the official 35 percent tax rate on American profits and the 21 percent rate in Britain, its second largest market,Newsweek reported in December, in a story headed “How Google and Apple Make Their Taxes Disappear”.

It’s the algorithm — I hear you!

No, it’s not!


France (is) Trying To Force Disclosure Of Google Algorithm, Wants To Regulate the SERP,” was the headline from Search Engine Land on Monday.

Are you kidding me?

Should Google throw its unique selling point out of the window?

It’s better to face regulators than several powerful stakeholders.

Playing Hard Ball

The situation is serious, but is not critical, although the press is “all over” Google and regulators are going to play hard ball with the tech behemoth.

In fact, Google “will soon be served with a formal charge sheet alleging that it breached antitrust rules by diverting traffic from rivals to favour its own services,the Financial Times reported last week, adding that the initial charge would focus on product searches where Google is accused of harming other shopping sites, but could be extended to other areas.

Great News

More disclosure would be great news for SEO operators around the world.

We have been fighting Google’s dominance ever since 2011, which was the watershed for search engine optimisation. Now we want to put our hands on Google’s algorithm, of course!

That will never happen, however, and it doesn’t look like South Europeans really get the point when it comes to intellectual property.

Nevertheless, changes spanning higher taxes based on volumes and number of searches as well as additional disclosure of alternative search engines may ensue, I’d argue.

(Incidentally, for SEO folks like us, it wouldn’t make any substantial difference doing our job running a Google-like analysis on Yandex, Bing or Baidu.)

But anything more than that may simply mean Google could decide to exit markets where demographics are not particularly appealing and where higher tax rates dilute earnings.

Try and ask for the Coca-Cola formula.

Easy does it, France.



If you want to discuss this topic further, feel free to email us at

Leave a Reply

Notify of