Google drops "first click free," loathed by many publishers

Credit: MGN
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NEW YORK (AP) - Google is ending so-called "first click free," a policy loathed by many publishers and media because it required a limited amount of free content from them before readers could be subjected to a paywall.

Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google Inc., said in a blog post Monday that publishers will now be allowed to decide how many, if any, free articles they want to offer readers before charging a fee. The minimum number of items offered under the previous Google search engine rules had been three.

The decision was hailed immediately by media companies like News Corp.

Google says it's working with publishers to streamline whatever payment form they would like to pursue so that it's easier for users to decide what they wish to pay for.

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