Home Blog How to Balance free and premium content with SEO

How to Balance free and premium content with SEO

For several years, websites that keep their main content behind paywalls have mixed results with organic search. There are several SEOs and business owners who forget that Google is not only about keywords and technical structure, rather it’s about providing a satisfying search experience for the user. Google has no interest in sending users to a website where the content mentioned is behind a pay gateway. This would certainly be a poor user experience, especially if similar content is provided on several other websites. Now this is not true for all instances, but there are often brands who built up a strong presence.

The Paid Content Problem

Google says that strict paywalls pose problems, as they want to provide the user with a positive search experience. The reason behind all this is that it offers free content as well as premium, allowing users from organic search and social media to sample a substantial amount of their high-quality content for free.

Post Excerpts for Free Users

There are many people who tend to forget that Google’s main objective is user experience. A lot of top content websites provide excerpts and snippets to free users. This is quite normal if your competitors are using similar. However, if they are offering more than this, then you need to do so as well. When Google assess a page’s content, it looks for both main content and supplemental content. According to survey it is seen that websites focusing on monetization, rather than user value saw an impact on rankings.

First Click Free

The concept of First click free was introduced by Google so that users who are coming from organic search could see an article, usually behind a paywall for free and then subsequent clicks onsite to other articles and pieces of content trigger the paywall. Google originally limited a user to five free clicks peer day, but this has since become three due to publisher pushback.