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Google Updates FCF Limit to 3 Articles a Day

Google recently announced an update to the FCF (First Click Free) model for subscription sites by decreasing the limit from 5 articles per day to 3 articles per day. 

FCF is a model that works well for paid content sites who wish to receive traffic from Google but at the same time restrict the users from viewing too many pages of FREE content. Also, as this model is approved by Google so there are no chances of Cloaking which is a practice of showing different content to user and search engines. 

Back in 2009 when mobile devices were not so widely available, the FCF model of letting a user access 5 articles in a day worked well but today, in the age of mobile devices, the threshold limit aka metering was reduced to 3 articles per day. 


1- What is FCF?

First Click Free is an approach for paid sites where the first article seen by a Google News user doesn't require a subscription. A user can access a maximum of 3 articles of the same site via different search queries. If the user clicks on any link on the paid site then he/she is prompted for paid  subscription.

2- What is Metering?

The practice of restricting the user access to 3 articles per day is known as metering.

3- What If I Don't Want FCF On My Site?

Yes, you can do so but in that case Googlebot will not be able to crawl your entire site and also a subscription label will be shown next to the publication label of all news sources. 

4- Do, The Old Guidelines Still Apply?

Yes, the old guidelines still apply. View, full guidelines here

5- Does This Apply For Google News Only?

No, this applies both for Google News and Google search.

6- Do I Need to Sign up for FCF?

No need to inform for Google Web Search but for Google News, you need to inform Google. Please see more information here

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