Wall Street Journal

Google ditches first click free, embraces paywalls

This week, Google killed its ‘first click free policy’, which required that publishers employing a paywall offer Google Search and Google News users three free articles per day. Those that didn’t saw their search rankings demoted.

For years, publishers complained that first click free policy made it difficult for them to maximize their subscription revenue. Yet many chose to follow it rather than give up Google referral traffic.

How The Wall Street Journal owns social media through Facebook and Twitter

This week, Liz Heron revealed WSJ’s five steps to social media success in an interview with Abigail Edge on Journalism.co.uk.

In just two years since emerging media editor Liz Heron joined, WSJ saw an increase of 235% followers on Twitter and 375% followers on Facebook.

It all seemed like pretty sound advice and I thought it was worth sharing here.

Rather than just repeat her advice verbatim though, I’m going to use some of her quotes as jumping of points to show actual examples of the WSJ social media strategy.

The venerable financial news institution achieved over 4m Twitter followers last weekend and its Facebook page is edging closer to achieving 2m Likes.

For what could be considered a niche publication, this is an incredible achievement. How about the competition though? These numbers may not mean much without comparison… 

In the UK there’s the Financial Times, which has 1.75m Twitter followers and 1.2m Likes for its Facebook page.

Back in New York there’s Bloomberg News offering a similar finance based news service. It has 1.3m Twitter followers and just 444,000 Likes on Facebook.

Clearly The Wall Street Journal is doing something right. 

Will The Information’s bold paywall strategy work?

‘The Information’ makes a case for smaller publishers adopting a paywall.

This is just a brief companion to an article I wrote yesterday entitled do publishers’ paywalls kill sociability?, in which I asked a few questions around the subject of online publications asking readers to pay for content which they have traditionally enjoyed for free.

As this focussed mainly on larger newspapers, at the end of the post I suggested that I would follow up the article with a focus on smaller, start-up publishers and whether a paywall might be suitable for them or not.

This recent example was brought to my attention and I feel it makes for an interesting case-study.