Thursday, September 20, 2007
As a college student, I use Google every day – email, news, documents and spreadsheets – you name the product, and I probably use it. This has made my summer internship with the Google News Support team even more illuminating. Though I thought I knew the ins and outs of many Google products (and there are lots of them), I'm actually only a beginner.
The News Support team interacts with users on a daily basis; we’re the go-to people for help and troubleshooting for our readers and publishers. We work hard to provide a comprehensive experience for Google News readers - from occasional surfers to news junkies. Whether we’re adding new sources or supporting new features (like video!), users are one of our primary concerns. Does a certain source have original articles that you will be interested in? Will you be able to access these articles?
One feature I’ve become more aware of is First click free. If you aren’t familiar, First click free is a way for publishers to share their subscription-only content with Google News readers. All articles that are accessed from Google News are allowed to skip over the subscription page.
In practice, this means that when you click on a link from Google News, you'll be able to see the article without receiving a prompt to login. If you would like to read more from the same source and choose to click on another story, you'll be taken to a registration prompt. We like to think of First click free as a simple system that allows you to test drive a news source before signing up on their site.
Finally, if publishers of subscription-based sites aren’t a part of our First click free program, we’re still happy to include their content – we’ll just tag the source as “(subscription)” to let you know that when you click on that article, you'll be directed to a subscription page.
If you love the current features of Google News like First click free (or if you don’t) you can share your thoughts with us on the Google News group. We look forward to hearing from you!