Google is to limit the number of news articles users can read for free on its website.
The search engine said it was changing its First Click Free programme so that readers would not be able to look at more than five pages in one day.
The move follows scathing criticism of Google by Rupert Murdoch over the way it provides free access to newspaper articles in his News Corp media group.
Some users have been able to get around paying subscriptions or registration by accessing news articles through Google.
But after the changes, users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages, Google said..
Good journalism is an expensive commodity. Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp
Google’s senior business product manager Josh Cohen said: “Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free.
“Now, we’ve updated the programme so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing.”
Mr Murdoch had threatened to block Google access to his newspaper websites.
He has accused news aggregators of “feeding off the hard-earned efforts and investments of others”.
“To be impolite it’s theft,” he said.
“Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”
Mr Murdoch says he intends to extend charging for access to some of his newspapers on the web.
The Wall Street Journal has already moved behind a pay-wall.
“We intend to expand this pay model to all our newspapers in the News Corp stable: the Times of London, The Australian, the rest,” he said.
“Some critics say people won’t pay. I believe they will.”
Content courtesy of Sky News