Google Pay Per View – How Will They Handle First Click Free?

Google like searchers to have a good user experience.

This means that if they show a search result for something, if a user clicks the result, they should be given the information they expect – what is promised in the headline and snippet in the search results.

Given as in free

There should be no exceptions.

This is especially true for news results in Google news and mainstream media – if they want search traffic based upon their content that is behind a paywall or other restriction, they have to give Google and their users free access for that first page view.

It is quite possible to get stubs of a story to rank, but that is likely to result (long-term) in a poorer quality rating of your site contents by Google (more coming on that in future blog posts).

This is technically called “First Click Free

First Click Free In Action

There is a story on Techmeme from the Financial Times about Google possibly looking to publish Pay Per View Videos on YouTube.

This is the link they provide

If you click that link you hit the paywall – well freewall as you can register for free to read a certain number fo stories per month – any more and you have to pay.

Financial Times Paywall

However if you are accessing the article from Google, you skip the barrier

Financial Times No Paywall

Wanna Watch Movies Online?

Lots of people want to watch movies online, but most of the people want to watch the latest box office movies online, and quite possibly many of them want to do it for free.

At the end of June U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cracked down on online video streaming sites in “Operation In Our Sites“.

ICE - Movie Sites Shut Down

More commentary on this in a July 1st post by Torrent Freak.

So that shows the demand might be there… but Google have a problem.

First Click Free With Movies

Hollywood face a constant struggle to keep full (illegal) feature length movies off the internet, or at least out of the search engine results and the internet is international as are search results.
There is nothing more frustrating for an international user than discovering content through a search engine, or even manually whilst navigating Youtube, and being constantly presented with content they are not allowed to watch.

Current movies on Youtube whilst not available to all countries, are available to many locations – even to me here in Poland. Some of them are even in colour.

For online video you might compare a site search of Youtube vs Hulu

Youtube –
Hulu –

Hulu videos are not being indexed as videos… possibly because of the streaming method they use.

But they do appear in normal search

Hulu In Google

Clicking that result brings me to this page

Hulu Access Restriction

What happened to “First Click Free” Google?

Here is an alternative which is even less helpful

Hulu Access

Those searches were using & US geo-location, but it is just the same with and PL geo-location.

Fringe Full Videos

Google With Vevo

Google already have some funny content deals with Vevo

Custom branded channels
Custom Player with clickable link to Vevo
Custom Navigation Bar

YouTube - Taylor Swift

Custom restrictions on access to some content internationally. Recently I have been going through my 3 year old son’s Youtube playlists removing videos that have recently had access restrictions added to them.

Pay Per View vs First Click Free / Freewall & Paywall vs Geotargeting

I am bundling all of these technology solutions together because ultimately they are all appearing in my search results. If I go to click one of the results and I don’t have access, I feel jilted… by Google.

Barry (from Pierce Communications in Belfast)recently posted an article over on the Dojo/Huomah SEO Training blog about The Death of SEO.

His point was that search is moving to other platforms, and in particular search on other devices.

People are watching movies on their iPad – they will soon also be watching movies on their new Apple iTVs or whatever they end up calling them and paying money to Steve Jobs rather than Google.

You search for a movie, find it, pay and have access and it is much easier to handle regional access controls with regional catalogues.

Currently the results being returned for video searches in Google are little better than search spam – in many cases the spam results are actually better as they often lead to what people are looking for, at the risk of malware infestation.

Have you ever tried explaining geotargeting access restrictions to a 3 year old?

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  1. Launa Baudler says

    I actually got to this site by looking for movies to view Online. May you write an article on the top movies to see online thx