Payment content: Google is coming to publishers for payment items

Payment content: Google is coming to publishers for payment items

Payment content: Google is coming to publishers for payment items

Google will no longer require news publishers with a paid subscription model to provide at least some free access to their content in order to ensure they get discovered in Google News and Google Search.

The "First Click Free" policy, which required publishers to offer three free articles a day before presenting readers with a paywall, will be replaced by a "Flexible Sampling" model. In August the Wall Street Journal experiencing a 39 per cent decline in search traffic compared to the previous year, along with an 89 per cent loss from Google News.

Thomson said they would keep a close watch on the new tools to make sure that people find their content on the Internet and will report what they learned, whether good or bad. Moreover, rumor has it that Google is now working on other tools that also have the objective of increasing the number of user subscriptions.

Google has thrown news publishers an olive branch by allowing them to list on its search engine without giving a set amount of content away for free.

Google has made the decision to give publishers more control following research, publisher feedback, and experiments with the New York Times and the Financial Times.

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Apart from dropping First Click Free, Google is also making it easier for users to subscribe to services.

Google said on Monday that it's partnering with publishers to figure out how to better support outlets that rely on subscription models. "Reader-based revenue, aka paid-content, or subscription services, are therefore not just a nice-to-have, but an essential component of a publisher's revenue composition", he said.

Recent talks with publishers focused on loading websites more quickly and improving video, then switched to subscriptions, according Philipp Schindler, Google's chief business officer. Google is recommending publishers offer users 10 articles per month for free, which many already do. Google is changing its stance, which could mean that news from some publications via Google News and search results might be unreadable without having to subscribe.

"The other aspects - using ad targeting tactics and other mechanisms to expose publisher content to the right audiences - won't roll out for a little while, so we'll have to wait and see how that will work", Sterling said.

For people who intentionally sought to skirt paywalls, the policy allowed readers to type a headline into Google and get free access to a story without having it count against a monthly free article limit, said Kinsey Wilson, an adviser to New York Times CEO Mark Thompson.

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