Yesterday, Google announced that it would allow news publishers to limit the number of free articles readers access via Google's search, a move the AP calls "a concession to an increasingly disgruntled media industry trying to find ways to get users to pay for content. There has been mounting criticism of Google’s practices from media publishers — most notably the chief executive of the News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch — who argue the company is profiting from online news pages."

On Google's News Blog, Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager, explains that with "First Click Free"—"a great way for publishers to promote their content and for users to check out a news source before deciding whether to pay"— "publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing... The user's first click to the content is free, but when a user clicks on additional links on the site, the publisher can show a payment or registration request." (Before a Google user's clicked links would be free.)

Last month, the News Corporation considered removing its content from the search engine and teaming up with Microsoft's Bing search. The AP says that, per new reports, this seems to still be the case: "Microsoft is in discussions about a pact to pay the News Corporation to remove links to its news content from Google’s search engine and display them exclusively on Bing." And a recent survey showed that over half of Americans would pay for online news content.