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Webmasters wishing to implement First Click Free should follow these guidelines:
- All users who click a Google search result to arrive at your site should be allowed to see the full text of the content they're trying to access.
- The page displayed to all users who visit from Google must be identical to the content that is shown to Googlebot.
- If a user clicks to a multi-page article, the user must be able to view the entire article.
They also have some implementation suggestions (i.e cloak for googlebot, show protected content based on the referrer).
[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 9:40 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2008]
The first-click-free program seems like a pretty solid idea to me, especially because it's opt-in for the publisher. I am suprised that every page of a multi-page article needs to be made available to vistors who arrive from Google search, but that's a judgement call, and I could see it going either way.
I'm curious about sites who are using the program - whether it increases registration or not. My guess is that the raw number of registrations would increase, but the percentage would decrease. Am I right?
Lame.. I suspect that means that they could basically search your entire site via Google without ever registering.
Letís say that We have ranked for "Red Widgets" as #1 for the past 5 years. That page has 30 links to individual Red Widget Pages. are those considered "every page of a multi-page article"? or will G simply rank it as an ecommerce catalog pages?
My Question is: What is the point of "CACHED" link in Google SERP then?
The first-click-free program was originally conceived for News sites like the NT Times that require registration or in some cases, subscription, to view content. So the language that Google uses is focused around "articles".
How the policy applies to other types of multi-page content is not so clear, but the intent is not so hard to discern. I doubt that Google expects access to one page out of an entire book should imply access to the entire thing.
If you don't do what Google wants, they will promote other pages above you on purpose?
This isn't just SEO, this is Google dictating the rules, is no-one going to point that out?
Mission-creep, I'm just saying...
ps. Google in stealth mode always sends a referer? I don't see that always.
The reason I mentioned showing an image to visitors and text to google was so that people can not easily download your content and steal it.
One more question I have does this change what Matt Cutts said about the whole WebmasterWorld cloaking issue? I have based what I do now on that.