Google drops “first click free,” loathed by many publishers
Google will try to help newspapers and other publishers boost subscriptions by ending a decade-old policy that required them to provide a limited amount of free content before people were asked to pay for it.
The “first click free” policy at the world’s biggest search engine was loathed by publishers because while the stories, videos and images appearing on Google have been free for its users, it is expensive to produce.
Publishers had been required to provide at least three free items under the search engine’s previous policy.
Publishers will now be allowed to decide how many, if any, free articles they want to offer readers before charging a fee, Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google Inc., wrote Monday in a company blog post.
People using Chrome, Google’s web browser, can pick and choose what they are willing to pay for.