Though Google is removing the “first click free” stipulation, the company’s position on the matter remains clear – it really believes publishers must offer some form of free content for first-time clickers. Opting out of this policy meant publishers could not appear on top search results.
News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said, “The felicitous demise of First Click Free (Second Click Fatal) is an important first step in recognizing the value of legitimate journalism and provenance on the internet”.
The company is abandoning its “first click free” feature which required publishers to offer three free articles a day before displaying a paywall to a reader.
Amid rising complaints from prominent media houses, Google has finally relaxed its rules for free news content on its search engine.
That wasn’t good enough for some: the Wall Street Journal stopped giving any stories away for free this year, leading to a drop in traffic but a boost in subscribers, according to Reuters. Search giant Google has chose to discontinue its trick that granted freeloading site visitors access to articles that are meant to be behind paywalls.
Google wants to collaborate more closely with publishers in marketing ir paid online content.
“Google appears honest in its intent to help publishers drive more subscriptions”, said Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insights at the Local Search Association.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, has made the subscription effort a priority.
Instead, the company will now allow publishers the freedom to choose the number of free articles users can read when found through Google’s search engine.
The objective is to provide fast purchases at a single click, said by Gingras. Google had a troubled public courtship with other publishers, too.
As part of the deal, Google is also offering publishers tools to make it easier to sell their content. Both platforms are still capable of delivering millions of readers to publishers, and the prospect of that power being used to drive subscriptions is undoubtedly tempting. Based on this, it also recommends that most publishers opt for a monthly, rather than daily, 10 articles for free limit.
Google and Facebook are now taking the majority of the £10bn a year spent on digital advertising in the UK.
In a conference held in September, Thompson revealed that Google is thinking about changing its “first click free” policy soon.
Google has been meeting with publishers over the past several weeks about improving website load times and video performance.