Google pleases publishers by ending it's 'first click free' policy

Lena Tucker
October 3, 2017

The First Click Free bounded writers to offer some free stories to the search engine if they had to list their work in the top results of search engine. To get around news outlets with a hard paywall, readers could Google the articles they wanted to read, and access at least three otherwise-paywalled stories that way - a Google mandate known as "first click free". However, the search engine giant on Monday has rewired its big engine to help appease those same publishers. Google introduced the policy a decade ago, on the premise that users should be able to access the news in their online search results. The policy required publishers to make three articles a day available for free through search in exchange for higher rankings in search results.

The change follows "months-long experiments" with both the New York Times and Financial Times, he added, both of which have paywalls.

After years of contention, Google is working alongside publishers to boost content sales.

News of this received praise amongst unusual places such as News Corp, one of the frequent critics of Google. According to the Media Statistics of 2017, the United State's digital ad revenue in 2017 had a major stake of around 47% held by Google.

While Google catches a lot of flak for disrupting the publishing model and causes headaches for publishers, speaking with AdNews last month when he was visiting Australia to meet with local publishers, VP of Google News Richard Gingras said actually it wasn't Google that caused it - it was the internet.

The blog also revealed that the use of machine learning within Google was being used to help publishers to recognize when to target potential subscribers with more relevant offers. The searchable information and the paid advertisements that Google publishes are two significant revenue sources for the company.

Other competitors such as Facebook, are also working on these subscriber registration tools. Mr. Gingras said Google expected to begin rolling out its suite of subscription support services in the first half of next year.

In a conference held in September, Thompson revealed that Google is thinking about changing its "first click free" policy soon.

Google's CEO Sundar Pichai has made subscriptions a priority and said he was involved very closely in numerous discussions with publishers.

"The Financial Times is welcoming of Google's input and actions to help this critical sector of the media industry, and we've worked very closely with Google to aid understanding of the needs that publishers have and how Google can help".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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