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News Corp backs Google policy on free news

03 October 2017, 08:38 | Hattie Nash

Google unveils new moves to boost struggling news organizations

Google unveils new moves to boost struggling news organizations

"Publishers are in the best position to determine what level of free sampling works best for them", Gingras wrote.

Google does a lot to infuriate traditional media companies, but one of its most controversial policies has for years been "First Click Free", in which it demanded that publishers have to give a certain number of articles to readers for free in order for those articles to appear high up in Google's search results. "However, sometimes that content is behind a paywall", said Richard Gingras, VP of News at Google, in a blog post. However, instead of forcing publishers to allow a user three free articles a day, it will now allow them to "experiment with different free sampling schemes" themselves, Google said. The WSJ says it experienced a 38 percent reduction in traffic from Google Search, and a loss of 89 percent from Google News in August compared to a year earlier.

News Corp owns The Wall Street Journal, which this year disabled free access to its stories from Google search.

Successful paywalled publishers the New York Times and Financial Times are both operating the new system and have been working with Google on its development.

Shares of companies like New York Times Co., News Corp.

Many news and journalism firms have seen this new initiative as beneficial and lucrative for the freelancers and independent writers who often faced financial issues due to Google's past policies regarding content creation and its marketing.

The objective is always to aid authors recognize feasible customers and grow a much better monthly subscription model, Google explained.

Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive officer, has made the subscription effort a priority.

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Google has thrown news publishers an olive branch by allowing them to list on its search engine without giving a set amount of content away for free.

News Corp reported a group-wide loss of $US643 million ($A821 million) for 2016/17, lower ad revenue and decline in circulation and subscription revenue in its core News and Information Services division pushed segment revenue down five per cent.

As part of the deal, Google is also offering publishers tools to make it easier to sell their content.

Other competitors such as Facebook, are also working on these subscriber registration tools.

Google and Facebook are expected to hoover up the majority of digital advertising spend in the United Kingdom for the first time this year as print advertising declines.

The "first click free" policy undermined publishers' attempts to enforce a paywall, or even to instill in readers the value of the content, critics maintained.

Google has been meeting with publishers over the past several weeks about improving website load times and video performance.



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