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Sunday, October 19, 2008

New "First Click Free" Initiative by Google

Posted by @ 1:49 am

Have you ever found yourself doing some research via Google and when you find what looks like the perfect listing – you click through to discover you need to sign up, or even worse pay, to read the article or post? It happens all too often.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that content providers need to control information access to service business models and revenue goals, but it creates a bad experience for the searchers.

Google have released a new program subscription based content publishers called “First Click Free“. The project aims to improve the searchers experience and in turn potentially enhance sign-ups for publishers.

According to the release post, the goals of “first click free” are:

  1. To include highly relevant content in Google’s search index. This provides a better experience for Google users who may not have known that content existed.
  2. To provide a promotion and discovery opportunity for publishers with restricted content.

Put simply, publishers that sign up to the “first click free” program are required to allow searchers to access the full text document they found in Google’s results. Any further clicks within the publisher’s site can then be limited by sign up.

While I think the concept is great from a searchers point of view, I’m not convinced all publishers will really understand the potential of the program. Antiquated thinking will see many content publishers believe that “first click free” is a lost revenue opportunity.

What do you think? Is “first click free” a good model for content publishers to increase exposure and sign ups? Share your thoughts below…

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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