Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. Google: First Click Free is over, being replaced by Flexible SamplingOct 2, 2017 by Greg Sterling Google is rolling out a suite of tools to help news publishers drive more subscription revenue. Google adds structured data for subscription & paywalled content for new flexible sampling programOct 2, 2017 by Barry Schwartz Excited for the new flexible sampling program for Google web search and Google News? Well, make sure you don’t get in trouble for cloaking by using this new structured data. Moving to HTTPS? Don’t miss this unique opportunity!Oct 2, 2017 by Fili Wiese Google recently announced that forms on web pages over HTTP will be marked as ‘not secure’ in Chrome starting this month. Columnist Fili Wiese believes this presents a good opportunity to make the switch to HTTPS — and that webmasters can take advantage of this switch to … [Read more...] about SearchCap: Google’s new flexible sampling, paywall schema & HTTPS migrations
Want to do a paywall with no “first click free?” That’s fine with Google, says business product manager Josh Cohen. Want to do micropayments? Google will be “flexible” in considering support of new business models like this. But if you charge, expect less traffic, and also expect that your competitors will be “ecstatic” to pick up your loss, he said. Cohen’s comments on paywall issues were part of a wide-ranging interview I had with him about Google and its news service. In the interview, Cohen also repeatedly stressed that publishers are free to deal with Google as they like. And if they wanted to exclude Google in favor of a competitor like Microsoft, they have that choice — though Google would prefer to work with everyone. Indeed, Google’s inclusion of many diverse sources is one reason he thinks Google might take hits from certain publishers that don’t criticize Yahoo News, which is a far more popular news service … [Read more...] about Josh Cohen Of Google News On Paywalls, Partnerships & Working With Publishers
How did we go from the New York Times seeming to single out visitors from Google with a “5 free visit per day” policy to supposedly all search engines being limited in such a way? And what’s up with there being no limit for visitors coming from anything that’s not a search engine, including Twitter and Facebook? Sit back, and I’ll tell the tale. New York Times Paywall, Mark I First, some history. The first New York Times paywall, TimesSelect, launched on September 19, 2005 and cost $49.99 per year (if you didn’t already have home delivery). It gave you access to New York Times columnists, archived articles and some premium content. TimesSelect lasted exactly two years, closing on September 19, 2007. Among the issues, as I recall them, was that by cutting off its content, the NYT also cut itself off from advertising pageviews. People couldn’t find stories through search; they couldn’t share them, either.Officially, the NYT wrote that user … [Read more...] about The Leaky New York Times Paywall & How “Google Limits” Led To “Search Engine Limits”
The New York Times launched its paywall globally today, and I’ve been putting the barrier through its paces. Visits from search engines like Google, for convoluted reasons, are limited to five per day. But as it turns out, visits from any Google site — search or not — appear blocked. To test how the new paywall works — and interacts with search engines — I triggered it for myself in Firefox. At first, I had no luck. After clicking on well past the allowed 20 views per month, I couldn’t get the wall to appear. Restarting my browser (I was in Firefox) finally got the paywall to trigger. As was promised, I was still able to get past this when I came from links on social sites such as Twitter. In addition, I was able to get past the paywall when I came from an ordinary link, such as from River Of Times, which is a collection of New York Times links. Blocked From Google, Yahoo & Bing Search engines are also supposed to let you past the paywall, if … [Read more...] about The New York Times Paywall Meters All Google Visits, Not Just Search Visits
For years, Google has suppressed the ability for paid news content to rank well in its search results. It’s time for that to change, given how Google doesn’t suppress other types of paid content. The change may help people value news content more. It might also produce real revenues for news publishers, if they can come together on an “all access” subscription plan run through Google. The Paid News Problem Many news publications have “paywalls,” where people can’t read content unless they have a paid subscription. Some of these are very strict, such as with The Times of London. If you don’t pay, you don’t get to read. Some are “leaky,” such as with the New York Times. It allows people coming from Google or from social networks to read some or all content for free. Strict paywalls pose a big problem for Google. The company has long said that searchers generally don’t like being sent to sites that have paywalls. … [Read more...] about Is It Time For Google To Rank News Content Behind Paywalls Better?