Google's JohnMu from the Webmaster Central team has done a blog post named First Click Free for Web Search where he clarifies that the First Click Free program is allowed to be used for web search as well. In short, the First Click Free program allows Googlebot and users who click from Google to your site, see your content for free, on the first click from Google to your site. It was designed originally for Google News, to allow sites like the New York Times to be syndicated and give users a taste of their content, and the next time they came back, it would require that user to login to view the content. It is the acceptable way to handle this for Google web search.
This is not new, Danny highlighted a Google post which said it was okay for web search. In fact, JohnMu from Google, originally was confused about this, as we covered a while back. But then Matt Cutts of Google came in and clarified things. I have some of the history on this topic at Search Engine Land.
There is a WebmasterWorld thread discussing the recent Google blog post on this program. In short, some webmasters are upset that savvy internet users can gain access to paid content for free, through Google. Some users want this expanded to be allowed to block certain countries from viewing their content, while allowing Googlebot to access their content and still be listed in Google.com. And some users are bit confused as to how this impacts Google's cloaking stance, still.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.