Internet giant Google has added a limited access option to its Google News service allowing publishers to restrict the number of articles that a user can access in one day.
The “First Click Free” option previously allowed readers to access one story from a site through Google News. However, if they select any other links on screen, they are prompted to pay or register.
“We’ve updated the programme so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing,” said Josh Cohen, senior business product manager of Google, writing on his company blog.
“If you're a Google user, this means you may start to see a registration page after you've clicked through to more than five articles on the website of a publisher using First Click Free in a day. We think this approach still protects the typical user from cloaking, while allowing publishers to focus on potential subscribers who are accessing a lot of their content on a regular basis,” added Cohen.
Google had recently come under fire from News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch who claimed last month that he would remove content by the company’s publications from the Google search indexes to encourage the take-up of paid subscriptions.
UK newspaper publisher, Johnston Press announced last week that it would charge US $8 for a quarterly subscription across six of its titles.