Google setting up their own walls: news not entirely free
Did Murdoch have a point after all? Maybe. Maybe not. Fact is that Google has reacted to the controversion which has been going around between publishers and search engines. Tuesday it announced it is changing the way it gives it grants access to news stories.
In the new format changes will be made to Google's "First Click Free" program. Users are now able to read the first story coming from Google news for free, and then have to pay for the next steps, but could get free content just by going back to Google news. That will now change.
"In addition to First Click Free, we offer another solution: We will crawl, index and treat as "free" any preview pages - generally the headline and first few paragraphs of a story - that they make available to us. This means that our crawlers see the exact same content that will be shown for free to a user. Because the preview page is identical for both users and the crawlers, it's not cloaking. We will then label such stories as "subscription" in Google News. The ranking of these articles will be subject to the same criteria as all sites in Google, whether paid or free. Paid content may not do as well as free options, but that is not a decision we make based on whether or not it's free. It's simply based on the popularity of the content with users and other sites that link to it."
If you're a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after you've clicked through to more than five articles on the Web site of a publisher using First Click Free in a day,"
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