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AP

Google is ending its longtime "First Click Free" (FCF) policy, which for more than ten years has allowed people to access content that was traditionally behind a paywall for free with their first click into the content on Google Search and Google News properties.

Why it matters: It's a make-nice from Google to publishers, who have been struggling to make digital ad revenue amidst Google and Facebook's overwhelming dominance in that area. The policy was particularly controversial because the design of Google's algorithm forced publishers to comply, or otherwise face a reduction in ad-supported traffic to their websites.

In a blog post, Google says it gave users this access to to help them discover paywall content and learn its value, but premium publishers have long argued that it has hindered their ability to monetize their subscription revenues.

What's new: They're removing FCF from search and adding "Flexible Sampling," a policy that lets publishers explore which different free sampling mechanisms work for them, as long as they stay within Google's updated webmaster guidelines.

Google's Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler says both he and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have spent a lot of time the past few years talking to publishers about ways to support their subscription revenues. "I am hearing from them is that this is a positive step forward and a welcome signal that we're all in," Schindler says.

The competition: Facebook is set to roll out its subscription efforts within Instant Articles in the coming weeks.

Go deeper

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.