Google makes a major change to boost online publisher subscriptions

Google unveils new moves to boost struggling news organizations

Google unveils new moves to boost struggling news organizations

Some big-name publishers have downgraded the importance they put on these platforms and instead are attempting to form more direct relationships with readers, including through subscriptions that provide a better business model.

For news to appear in Google search, it had required that publishers show at least three articles each day to readers for free before they hit the paywall and were asked to sign in or subscribe.

The change by Google that has the biggest ramification is its decision to eliminate the program of "first click free".

Subscription news should start showing up more prominently in Google search.

Google is concluding their questionable 1st Click Totally free (FCF) scheme which web publishers repelled since it demanded these people to permit Google search final results entry to news content articles concealed behind a paywall. Google wants to offer more flexibility to publishers. From the publishers' perspective, many readers became too comfortable with the belief that online content always should be free. But after some negative comments from those in the industry, Google tested out its new plan with some heavy hitters like the New York Times and the Financial Times.

Google over the years has expanded its original focus to undertake everything from developing a mobile phone operating system to carrying out experimental projects, including development of autonomous vehicle technologies.


Now, however, news publishers are able to choose how many free articles, if any, they offer, before requesting payment for a subscription.

In an attempt to smooth over tensions with media groups, Google began collaborating in August with the New York Times and the Financial Times, both of which rely on paywalls, to run trials with lower numbers of free daily articles.

However, the aforementioned news outlet's parent company News Corp has complained that the policy introduced by Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. has not paid off as intended, and sales of said subscriptions have suffered, due to what News Corp calls "freeloaders" leeching off what should be paid content.

Gingras says in the blog post: "Our goal is to make subscriptions work seamlessly everywhere, for everyone".

Google's CEO Sundar Pichai has made subscriptions a priority and said he was involved very closely in numerous discussions with publishers.

The move was welcomed by major publishers with subscription models. Google is still taking aim at one way that publishers garner ad revenue on websites - auto-playing video. Google is working on improving that process as well. Mr. Gingras said Google expected to begin rolling out its suite of subscription support services in the first half of next year.

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