The Times, where my weekly column appears, tells Google to piss off:

[Times Online] will only show their homepages, not articles, to search engines. That means the sites - which are fine, focused products - could be passing up their greatest customer acquisition opportunity: their content itself. Non-members who reach a story page are greeted by a Times+ sign-up and login overlay, obscuring the article; there’s no taster, no excerpt and no way that anyone will find those articles via search sites.

Massie asks:

[H]ow many readers who've grown-up with "free" newspapers will sign-up? True, newspapers often spend far too much time and effort and money chasing the "youth" market and alienating their existing base as they hop aboard the latest faddish bandwagon but in this instance forgetting about the kids adds risk to an enterprise already loaded with hazard.

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