Google has a new plan that will probably make Old Fox Rupert happy.
Through Google’s “First Click Free” plan, publishers can now stop unrestricted access to their subscription sites. So if you click on more than five articles a day from a subscription site at Google News, you’ll hit their pay wall on your sixth click.
This is clearly a compromise. Google still wants to be able to crawl these news sites, but at the same time hasn’t fully figured out how to provide real value to content publishers.
For now this measure will satisfy pay-wall companies like the WSJ and FT. But as their costs go up (“content is cheap; journalism is expensive”), expect further cries for help.
I’ll give them a year.