Google to abandon “first click free” policy to assist digital publications industry

By Pouyan Broukhim

Google has announced that it will be ditching its “first click free” policy, whereby paid-for news providers are required to offer free articles in order to appear in the platform’s search engine results.

Instead of forcing subscription-based publishers to provide three free articles before users reach a pay wall, the US company will offer a more flexible sampling model whereby the providers will decide how many articles, if any, it offers on a free view basis.

The move is designed to support the growth of the digital subscriptions industry, with many sites having been hampered by Google’s current policy.

See also:

“If you don’t sign up for ‘first click free’, you virtually disappear from a search. Given the power of that Google platform, that is disadvantaging premium content of great provenance,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, speaking to the Guardian.

The tech-company received positive feedback from both readers and providers in the trial of its more flexible system with the New York Times and the Financial Times.

Google is also launching improvements to its subscriptions services in tandem with this, making it easier for users to subscribe to news providers, now requiring just one click.

Share
Share

Featured Articles

DEI done right: Brook Sims, COO, MAC Diversity Recruiters

Passionate about helping others find their voice, diversity leader and COO Brook Sims talks powerful leadership, diverse teams and being a change agent

Q&A: China’s ecommerce innovator Jeff Li, CEO of Shoplazza

Named in Fortune China’s 40 under 40 for 2022, former Baidu head Jeff Li is the entrepreneurial founder and CEO of ecommerce platform Shoplazza

How hybrid work is revolutionising the physical office

As hybrid work models roll out worldwide, the purpose of the office is changing with collaboration, connection and networking taking centre stage

Trailblazer: Shanique Bonelli-Moore, DEI chief at Clorox

Sustainability

Dean Forbes – the Forterro CEO aiming for the moon

Leadership & Strategy

Why becoming a B Corp is good for business

Sustainability