Google is attempting to improve relations with media giants with its First Click Free policy that allows publishers to build pay walls around their online content. The search giant will also allow publishers to decide whether they want their sites to show up in Google News, Google Web search, both, or neither.
Where they used to have to fill out an online form to opt-out of Google's news aggregation site, publishers will soon have a means to opt-out or set other options automatically, using a small file placed on their sites.
Publishers wont have to send in a request to Google in order to not appear on Google News, Google Web search, both, or neither. The process will now be automated.
The change comes at the crucial time as many newspapers, like Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., are thinking of removing their content from search engine sites.
Wall Street Journal, owned by News Corp., charges for access to most articles on its Web site, but its pay wall is leaky. Readers can grab the first sentence from a preview of the story, punch it into Google and access the full story in the search results.
The Journal will now be able to block Google from indexing its stories, but that would cut traffic to its site significantly. However, this does have a downside for the site as less traffic means less ad revenue.