Google will end 'first click free' policy

Google will end 'first click free' policy
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Google announced Monday that it’s ending its “first click free” practice that allowed users to skirt publishers’ paywalls.

The move is likely to please news outlets that rely on subscription services for revenue.

Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of news, said in a blog post that publishers will now be able to choose how many free articles to offer non-subscribers.


“Publishers are in the best position to determine what level of free sampling works best for them,” Gingras wrote.

“So as of this week, we are ending the First Click Free policy, which required publishers to provide a minimum of three free articles per day via Google Search and Google News before people were shown a paywall.”

Gingras recommended that publishers use the new feature to offer 10 free articles a month to users without a subscription.

The news industry has been at odds with internet giants like Google and Facebook for upending their business models by sweeping up the lion’s share of online advertising revenue and allowing users to bypass paywalls.

Google said on Monday that it’s partnering with publishers to figure out how to better support outlets that rely on subscription models.