News search results for sites with paywall subscriptions won’t be demoted in Google search, Bloomberg reports. It’s part of a move to find better Google search and ad solutions for news sites with paid subscriptions.
The biggest change is that Google is dropping its “first click free” program, which favored search results from news sites that offered a free click-through to a subscription paywall. Links that didn’t offer a first free click were search-demoted. That will change going forward. Google did not respond to a request for comment.
Google has also been working on developing improved ways to subscribe to news sites, starting with the New York Times and Financial Times.
The company has faced antitrust fines this summer, and is currently in Russian interference during the 2016 US presidential election.