Google appeases publishers by ending 'first click free' and helping to sell subscriptions

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Google is pushing out measures that will help publishers sell more digital subscriptions and is also ending its controversial "first click free" policy.

The internet giant has been in talks with News Corp, The New York Times and the Financial Times and starting this week will let publishers set limits to how many articles they will allow users to read for free, reported the FT.

This will replace the "first click free" model which insisted that publishers provided at least three free stories a day via Google search.

Publishers have accused Google in the past of prioritising titles that offered more free stories over articles behind the paywall. In the FT report, Google has denied this. 

However, in a Bloomberg report, Google has pledged to not demote publishers if they have little or no free content. 

Google is to help publishers convert readers with a single click by integrating user data with its applications, including Google News.