Under the controversial policy, news organizations had to offer free access to a number of news articles to readers using the Google search engine if they wanted a top spot for those articles in search results.
More and more news outlets are asking readers to subscribe to their service to have access to their articles. The move is a shift from the tradition of relying mostly on ad revenue, which benefited readers.
Several months ago, the Wall Street Journal placed its news articles behind a subscription paywall. As a result, Google traffic plummeted 44%, which can speak volumes of the number of people having access to WSJ’s content since 90% of Internet users use Google.
Old Policy Gone
On Monday, Google announced that the old policy would be replaced with a new one called “Flexible Sampling”. Under the new policy, news agencies will no longer be forced to giveaway up to three free stories per day. Instead, each company will be able to establish the number of free articles, but the monthly recommended number is 10, according to Google.
The web search giant noted that people are more willing to buy a product if they have access to some free samples of that product. Google also promised to collaborate with media companies to make it easier for its users to subscribe. From the way Google puts it, it is quite clear that it plans to make its products and services a central issue of that process.
Google announced that people will be able to subscribe with a single click via its payment technologies. The news articles people paid for will then be available from Google search, Google Newsstand, Google News, as well as the news organization’s website or app.
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