Google relaxes rules for media outlets with subscription

03 October, 2017, 08:41 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Google Unveils Tools to Increase Subscriptions for Publishers

In Google's first click Free program, publishers have been required to display at least three articles per day for free on Google, so that content with Paywall will appear in Google index at all. "There is a sense that those that are creating journalistic content are not getting appropriately rewarded and those that are intermediating, whether that is a search engine or a social media company, are essentially taking more of the value than they should", Mr. Newman told Sputnik.

Google originally put its policy into place under the assertion that free articles would act as samples, and that these would lead to increases in subscriptions.

Instead of forcing subscription-based publishers to provide three free articles before users reach a pay wall, the U.S. company will offer a more flexible sampling model whereby the providers will decide how many articles, if any, it offers on a free view basis.

The Alphabet Inc. unit is scrapping a contentious search result rule for subscription news sites and giving them new tools to attract more paying customers.

When News Corp disabled free access to its articles on Google Search earlier this year, its stories were heavily demoted in search rankings, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Google recommends publishers use this new markup when they are deploying flexible sampling techniques on their web sites. It has also been testing this new system with the Financial Times and the New York Times. This move is seen as a measure that would benefit Google in the long run because the business model of the company lays great emphasis on the revenue generated from Google News and other pertinent content sources.

But digital subscriptions are rising rapidly for major established newspapers. Beginning this week, publishers will be allowed to decide how many free articles to offer through Google searches - if any - before requiring readers to pay.

Google announced Monday that it will be offering its biggest olive branch yet to publishers: new ways to attract subscribers, as well as a change in how paywalled articles can be accessed through search.

Gingras says in the blog post: "Our goal is to make subscriptions work seamlessly everywhere, for everyone". The chairman of Axel Springer the publishing giant in Germany wrote in an open letter in 2014 that the company was afraid of Google. Both platforms are still capable of delivering millions of readers to publishers, and the prospect of that power being used to drive subscriptions is undoubtedly tempting. Google and Facebook combined will account for 60 percent of the USA digital advertising market this year, according to the research firm eMarketer. "He's very closely involved in a number of the publisher discussions", Schindler said.


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