Google has unveiled an important decision affecting all online publishers providing premium content through digital subscription paywalls: First Click Free for Publishers has ended!
This policy prevented a visitor from Google's search results pages from seeing a paywall. First Click Free meant that people could view your content for free if they came from Google Search or Google News pages.
First Click Free required premium publishers to allow visitors referred by Google Search and Google News to view three articles a day, even if they had hit a paywall on the site already, or risk being punished in search rankings.
This approach treated all publishers the same and has now, fortunately, been replaced by Flexible Sampling.