Winning both your SEO and paywall strategy is crucial for publishers, newspapers, and bloggers who are struggling to monetize their traffic with Ads. Google’s First Click Free (FCF) policy provided a way for content behind a paywall to be included in search in spite of their content not generally being accessible to users. FCF has since been discontinued and Google has updated their technical documentation on how to handle content behind a paywall. Below is a quick summary of the requirements to optimize the content behind your paywall.

Publishers should indicate content behind a paywall

To win both your SEO and paywall strategy, you must indicate the content behind the paywall. Google recommends using structured data to indicate the content is behind a paywall. Publishers who fail to indicate the presence of a paywall risk being mistaken for a form of cloaking that can lead to a penalty. Below is a structured data example.

1- Add a class name to any paywalled section.

<p>This content is outside a paywall and is visible to all.</p>
<div class="paywall">This content is inside a paywall, and requires a subscription or registration.</div>

2- Add NewsArticle structured data.

3- Add the highlighted JSON-LD structured data to your NewsArticle structured data.

  "@context": "",
  "@type": "NewsArticle",
  "mainEntityOfPage": {
    "@type": "WebPage",
    "@id": ""
  "isAccessibleForFree": "False",
    "@type": "WebPageElement",
    "isAccessibleForFree": "False",
    "cssSelector" : ".paywall"

4- Make sure Google can crawl your pages

Make sure Googlebot and Googlebot-News can crawl your all your paywalled pages. To prevent Google from showing the cached link to your pages – use the noarchive robots meta tag.

At Pelcro, we provide our clients with all the tools they need to manage their SEO and paywall strategies. Our tools automate this process so you don’t have to worry about it. If your strategy includes a metered paywall or multiple sections of premium content, get in touch get in touch to learn how to optimize for those strategies.