Change in Times Strategy Comes After Two Years
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/10/2012 -- Murdoch’s Times has changed its approach to search engines after years of blocking them. Search engines have been blocked since May 2010. Now the publication has changed its policy and philosophy regarding search engines. The first two lines of an article will appear in a search engine.
The change is mainly because of traffic and publicity, as Times has seen an increase in its readership since the change.
Times’ editor James Harding said: “About 30% to 40% of our traffic comes from search.”
This preview is not changing the overarching policy of The Times, where visitors are invited to subscribe to read full articles. The publication has had 130, 751 subscribers digital since mid-2010, so now the publication is acknowledging that Bing and Google are helping them with their readership numbers.
This new shift will help with page views, but the question remains: Will two sentences be enough to increase subscription and readership overall?
Other publications have found ways to incorporate search engines efficiently. FT.com, for instance, has limited the number of articles one can read free. The Nytimes.com limited articles (20, then 10) for readers to read without cost.
Sometimes the strategy is not in quantity, but in cost. For example, The New York Post allows some reader to read at no cost and sometimes drops the price for subscription as a whole.
The Sun allows all of its work to be searchable and readable online.
The Times changed its website recently by allowing readers to log in faster if they are subscribe.
It still blocks commercial news aggregators NewsNow and Meltwater.
Editor Tom Whitwell told Paidcontent: ”The clarity is something that was very important. If you’re asking someone to pay for something, it has to be very clear what they’re paying for.”
Executive editor Danny Finkelstein said: “When we showed it to people, that was the model they preferred. We’re completely unashamed about this.”
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