Should Google Label Content Served Through Flexible Sampling?

As we covered yesterday, Google is launchingflexible sampling as their new more relaxed method of the first click free program. So basically publishers have more control on how Google serves and ranks their subscription based content in search.

But someone asked if Google will be labeling content in the search results as being being a paywall or subscription based content and Google’s John Mueller said “It’s the same as with FCF, you wouldn’t see that in the search results at the moment.” He said this on Twitter .

It’s the same as with FCF, you wouldn’t see that in the search results at the moment.

— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu)
October 2, 2017

But earlier this year, Google did show you these labels, here is a screen shot from Search Engine Land:

Sometime recently, probably with the release of this flexible sampling feature, Google removed the mention of the “paid subscription” label from the Google News label description page. It is gone now but it use to say:

Paid subscription

Apply this label to your publication if you require a paid subscription to access content. This will add a (subscription) label to your site when it appears in Google News. We do this so users can choose whether or not to access content that may require payment.

Also, we’ve worked with many subscription sites to allow Google users to access some content for free; one of these subscription options may be right for your site.

So maybe Google won’t be labeling these paywalls or subscription based content in search anymore or maybe they will. Who knows…

Forum discussion at Twitter .

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