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undergroundnewsroom.com October 23, 2017


Bypassing Publisher Paywalls Via Google? Not Anymore

03 October 2017, 08:41 | Clyde Nash

15 2017. REUTERS Dado Ruvic IllustrationMore

15 2017. REUTERS  Dado Ruvic  IllustrationMore

"Journalism provides accurate and timely information when it matters most, shaping our understanding of important issues and pushing us to learn more in search of the truth", said vice-president of news at Google, Richard Gingras.

Google has now pledged to index all new outlets that have subscriptions in its search, allow publishers to determine the number of articles that are free they will provide through its search engine, and will not lower them in the search results if they have little to no free content. However, the search engine giant on Monday has rewired its big engine to help appease those same publishers.

Now, though, Google is replacing FCF with something called Flexible Sampling. "The new move is informed by our own research, publisher feedback, and months-long experiments with the New York Times and the Financial Times, both of which operate successful subscription services", he added.

But it has also been a source of tension for publishers, some of whom are reluctant to give their content away for free and see Google as profiting off their work.

"Google search is valuable because there's a rich ecosystem out there". Google has a hard courtship publicly with other online publishers as well.

But Google has also worked closely with publishers, such as Digital News Initiative (DNI), which also includes time.

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Google had introduced the policy stating that it would lead to increase in subscriptions for news outlets.

Google made a decision to offer more flexibility to publishers based on additional research, feedback from publishers, and extended experiments with The New York Times and Financial Times, Gingras said. Google also announced a coming suite of tools for publishers to facilitate smoother subscription signups. Gingras said that the main goal is to transform this purchase into a one-click process.

While Google will no longer punish publishers for failing to offer freebies to its users, it does have advice for how it prefers they implement Flexible Sampling, suggesting they offer ten free stories each month before chucking up a paywall - exactly what the New York Times already does. Google had a troubled public courtship with other publishers, too.

Google and Facebook are expected to hoover up the majority of digital advertising spend in the United Kingdom for the first time this year as print advertising declines. Thus, the publishers now have the bargaining power to decide the number of articles Google users can access for free.

Google has been meeting with publishers over the past several weeks about improving website load times and video performance.



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