Subscribe with Google Now Available To More Websites

On Oct 25, 2022, the Google News Initiative announced through Twitter that Subscribe with Google (beta) will now be open to more websites.

Once only available to select publishers, now sites large and small can apply and use Subscribe with Google.

Subscribe with Google allows publishers to sell subscriptions to their content through Google’s payment system, Google Pay.

Publishers can opt to have all of their premium content paywalled, allow a number of free views before requiring a subscription, or even simply request contributions.

The advantage for publishers and subscribers is ease of use.

For publishers, the set up is fairly simple. Google handles the billing and only retains 5% of the subscription price.

For subscribers, as long as they are logged in to their Google account, they can access paywalled content for all of the sites they are subscribed to through Google without having to sign in to each site individually.

Publishers will be provided the subscriber’s name, gmail address, the status of the subscription, which plan the subscriber is on (publishers can set up different plans), and payment date.

This information will be available through Google’s Publisher Center, which publishers will be prompted to sign up for during the application process (if they don’t already have one set up).

It’s important for publishers to understand that Subscribe with Google is a JavaScript based paywall.

The advantage of a JavaScript system is that Google and other search engines can easily crawl the full content. It should not affect SEO.

The disadvantage of this system is that savvy readers can easily get around the paywall by turning off JavaScript.

While there are ways to make it more difficult than just turning off JavaScript in one’s browser to view the content, there’s no way to absolutely block unauthorized access.

Despite that, many large sites use this type of paywall with the knowledge that some readers will get around it. They value the crawlability and simplicity of using a JavaScript paywall over the complexities of a server-side system with more limited access and potential SEO issues.

The new Subscribe with Google (beta) is currently open to publishers in the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

See next: How to Register for Subscribe with Google.

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Chris Andrews is an avid news consumer, publisher, a Diamond Level Google News and Google Publisher Center Product Expert, a technical SEO consultant, a 3rd Degree Black Belt, the creator of the GN Publisher and RevPress WordPress Plugins, and the founder of Rev.Press.