Google News to allow publishers to limit free access

BBC:

Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google, the company has announced.

The concession follows claims from some media companies that the search engine is profiting from online news pages.

Under the First Click Free programme, publishers can now prevent unrestricted access to subscription websites.

Users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages.

'Gaining' revenue

"Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free," Google senior business product manager Josh Cohen said in a blog post.

"Now, we've updated the programme so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing."

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch had earlier accused firms such as Google of profiting from journalism by generating advertising revenue by linking readers to newspaper articles.

Some readers have discovered they can avoid paying subscription fees to newspaper websites by calling up their pages via Google.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said the concession was relatively minor but Mr Murdoch might see it as vindication of his decision to take on Google.

Google users may start seeing registration pages appear when they click for a sixth time on any given day at websites of publishers using the program, according to Mr Cohen.

article originally published at BBC.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey