Google drops ‘first click free’ policy that helped search users skip paywalls – Los Angeles Times

Google is ending “first click free,” a policy loathed by publishers and media because it required them to provide a limited amount of free content before users of the world’s biggest search engine could be asked to pay for it.

Publishers will now be allowed to decide how many, if any, free articles they want to offer readers before charging a fee, Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google Inc., wrote Monday in a company blog post.

People using Chrome, Google’s web browser, can pick and choose what they are willing to pay for.

Publishers had been required to provide at least three free items under the search engine’s previous policy.

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