First Five Click Free Program: Google Revises FCF Program

Dec 2, 2009 • 8:35 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Yesterday, Google adjusted their First Click Free program and wrote about it at both the Google Webmaster Central Blog and the Google News Blog.

In the past, the first click free program allowed you to show subscription content to Google even if you required users to login. The only requirement was that when users clicked from Google to the article, they should be able to see the content without having to pay or login. After that first click from Google, you can require them to login. The only issue was that anyone wanting to see any article on a paid subscription site, would simply go to Google and click over to the article from Google to the site to get it for free.

Google adjusted their policy to allow publishers to limit the clicks to the "five free accesses per user each day." So after five clicks, the publisher can decide to require that user to login. Google does not determine how to calculate or code the first five free accesses per user, and leaves it up to the webmaster to figure out. So that means you will have some publishers who are more lax on that rule, allowing more than five and some might allow up to five in whatever 24 hour period they decide. Do they use cookies, IPs, or something else to track that access, that is up to the webmaster/publisher.

The first click free program is old, it dates back past 2007 or further, as far as I know. In mid-2008, there was confusion if it could be used in web search as well and the ultimate decision is that is applies both to News and Web search.

For more technical details on this program, click here.

Forum discussion at Google News Help and WebmasterWorld.

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