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Google limits free news access

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
2 December 2009

Five clicks and you are out

In what may be the first or last round of  the ‘free news wars’ Google has announced that they are updating their ‘First Click Free’ programme so that after five views of a given website each day users may be presented with a registration page in order to view more pages. Primarily aimed at heavy users this allows all of the newspaper content to be indexed and available to users but limits access should the publisher choose to do so.

Whether this is enough to appease, though it may vindicate Rupert Murdoch, in his bid to charge for access is another matter.

Google also added that the as the news sites can still be crawled they will be indexed and featured on the Google News results. However, a ‘subscription’   label will be placed alongside these stories but not affect their ‘rank’.

As Google says, ‘After all, whether you’re offering your content for free or selling it, it’s crucial that people find it. Google can help with that.’

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