We reported earlier this morning that Google is doing away with the old “first click free” program and replacing it with flexible sampling. In short, Google is giving publishers more options for allowing search users to access their content without hurting ranking visibility in Google search results. With that, Google has introduced a new paywall structured data element for subscription and paywalled content. Google recommends publishers use this new markup when they are deploying flexible sampling techniques on their web sites. This will help Google understand that the publisher is not cloaking — when sites serve different content to Googlebot than users — and that it is an approved paywall. Google says, “This structured data helps Google differentiate paywalled content from the practice of cloaking, which violates our guidelines.” Here are the technical documents on this new structured data element. Here is the help document on the new flexible sampling for webmasters. About The Author Barry Schwartz RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on social media at @rustybrick, +BarrySchwartz and Facebook. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio and…
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