Google to Boost New Stories in Search Results for Paying Subscribers

Google to Boost New Stories in Search Results for Paying Subscribers

Google users who subscribe to digital newspapers will see indexed articles indexed higher in their search results.

The Alphabet unit will also begin sharing search data that show who's most likely to buy a subscription, said the people, who asked to be anonymous because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. The initiative, expected to be unveiled at an event March 20 in NY, aims to help media companies find and retain paying customers. For now, Google declines to comment.

The moves could help publishers better target potential digital subscribers and keep the ones they've already got by highlighting stories from the outlets they're paying for.

Several publishers, including News Corp.

Many organizations are pushing Google and Facebook to offer tools to boost subscriptions by saying that platforms can support a reputable journalist at a time when their services are being used as a fake news sphere.

Facebook recently made major changes to its News Feed algorithm that are expected to shrink publishers' online audiences. In October, the company started testing Instant Articles payments, allowing publishers to receive direct payments and retain overall revenue.

Several publishers, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post, are focusing on making readers pay for their content after it becomes more and more hard to withstand advertising revenue.

Google's AMP program, which hosts articles on its servers instead of publishers' websites so they load faster, has won praise for helping drive more subscriptions, but "revenue has been slow to build", the group said in a January report.