September 18, 2007

NYT Goes Free

Big news in the online newspaper world is that the New York Times is opening up the formerly pay-access portions of its Website to ad-supported free page views. Lead paragraph from the article:

The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night, reflecting a growing view in the industry that subscription fees cannot outweigh the potential ad revenue from increased traffic on a free site.

and ...

What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to These indirect readers, unable to gain access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.

Talk about your "Google Effect". This is a big plug for SEO folks like myself who are big on evergreen content that people get to via search or linking. That the ad dollars are so good that even a "premium content vendor" like the NYT can give up paid subscription revenue is also a good sign.

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