Google users who subscribe to digital newspapers will see indexed articles indexed higher in their search results.
According to Bloomberg, the tech giant will start sharing search data to news companies showing who is "most likely to buy a subscription". Google directors plan to reveal more details about the initiative at an event on March 20 in NY. For now, Google declines to comment.
The move will help publishers better target their digital subscribers and retain the attention of paid readers by focusing on particular media articles for which they pay. The initiative shows Silicon Valley's ongoing efforts to improve its relations with the media. Many have been pushing Google and social media outlet Facebook (FB) for new tools to drive subscriptions, arguing they should help support trusted journalism at a time when their platforms have been exploited to publish fake news. In February, Facebook announced a program to help metro papers build subscriptions.
Apple, meanwhile, bought Texture, a digital magazine service, this week in what the company said was a sign that it's committed to supporting quality journalism. Now, instead of requiring publishers with paywalls to provide at least three free articles per day, media companies can decide how many articles to let Google users read without paying.
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.