Google Becomes Gatekeeper 4

google becomes gatekeeper

Jefferson Graham reported today in USA Today that Google has made changes this week allowing publishers more control over their content that is searchable via the web giant.

What does this mean for individuals searching for content via Google?

The company’s senior business product manager Josh Cohen wrote on the Google blog, “If you’re a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after you’ve clicked through to more than five articles.”

Graham continues to explain, “That way, the publisher still gets its articles indexed, while at the same time, can charge for reading. The pieces will be labeled as “subscription” in Google News.”

Here at RaceTalk we have extensively covered the print media’s attempt to adapt to the demand for free, online content. In order to stay afloat, many print outlets require a paid subscription to view their content online, such as the Wall Street Journal. This would be taking that concept one step further and blocking web access at the search level. It may also affect where content appears in among search results. Paid subscription search results may get bumped lower down the list.

When individuals searching for content via Google stumble upon one of these “subscription” listings, they will have to start asking themselves, is this worth a click? Am I willing to pay to read this?

While paid subscriptions for online content generates revenue for the parent, print media outlet, it may drive traffic away to free websites instead and cause interested readers to find new sources for their online content.

To pay or not to pay? That is the question.

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