Google has been the primary agent that drove traditional media out of readers’ sight. Instead, people started reading their daily news on their gadgets. One of the core strategies that set the foundation for this new market was First Click Free.
Based on this controversial demand, publishers had to post some free articles before claiming subscriptions. This was the only way Google would have accepted to rank them. However, the company withdrew this clause. The disappearance of such a user-friendly pillar of digital media might make way to the end of the free Open Web.
A Mere Recommendation Replaced the First Click Free Request
Google has just shifted the rules of the digital media. Back days, subscription news publishers had to offer at least three free articles per day. Only then were creators able to lock their content until readers paid them a subscription. If publishers didn’t abide by these demands, Google wouldn’t have indexed their content in its Google search results for a particular word or phrase.
However, publishers have recently escaped from such a punitive threat. Google is now allowing them to choose how many free articles to offer their readership through the new Flexible Sampling policy.
Instead, Google recommends publishers to consider at least ten free articles for a reader per month. Nonetheless, creators have the option to disregard this instruction. They can now welcome users with a subscription pop-up right from the start without risking their content be downgraded on search engines.
Google Will Also Boost Publishers’ Trust in Its Services with New Range of Tools
On top of that, Google is now offering publishers a range of tools to enrich their subscriber lists. Such strategies include a new sign-up procedure. Users will have the option to subscribe with one click through Google and Android platforms.
The company is also pushing to boost traffic on its publisher pages such as Google News, Google Search, and Google Newsstand. On top of that, publishers might get access to Google’s own user data for targeting potential subscribers better.
The new change does nothing but to fortify the dawn of traditional media. News publishers have one more reason to leave the channels of the past and join their modern versions in the digital world. The end of the First Click Free program shifts the power from the hands of readers to subscription news publishers.
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