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No more free ride: Wall Street Journal pulls content out of Google’s “First Click Free” program
WSJ move might cause other publishers to remove content from Google's program, if it turns out 'Subscription' label doesn't hurt conversions.
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it has removed its content from Google’s First Click Free program, a system that allows Google searchers to access a limited amount of news content without a paywall barrier.
Dow Jones — which publishes The Wall Street Journal — sent us this statement:
We are constantly experimenting with different ways to enhance the digital experience for members. As a continuation of this, the Journal has broadened its test by removing content available through Google’s First Click Free. The test began last month when the Journal removed four sections, resulting in subscription growth driven directly from content.
Originally, the Business, Markets, Politics and Opinion sections were removed, Dow Jones said. But on Monday, all sections were pulled, it told us. It also said that it did the required change in Google News Publisher Center to flag these sections as subscription-only.
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