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Author Topic: Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles  (Read 1996 times)

Arizona Hot

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Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles
« on: November 21, 2012, 11:49:16 PM »
Online newspaper websites like The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times are part of the First Click Free program but Google visitors can still get free access to all the news articles without registering or subscribing.

Online newspaper sites like the Financial Times require users to sign-in if they want to read more than one article on their site. The New York Times too had such a restriction in place earlier but they seem to have dropped that requirement now.

The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, is a subscription-based site. They do offer free access to some of news stories but all the premium content is behind a pay-wall and therefore available only to paid subscribers.

Since these newspaper websites are part of the “First Click Free” program, someone visiting them via Google search can read the first page of the story without registering or subscribing. The first click is therefore “free” but the user will have to sign-in or register to read further.

First Click Free & Google Visitors

However, due to a possible bug in the implementation, the registration prompt gets bypassed for Google visitors giving them free access to all the news articles – even the premium content meant for subscribers.

It works like this. You first copy the web address of any news article that is behind the registration firewall and paste that URL into the Google Search box. Now click the first Google result and you’ll be able to read the full text of the corresponding story without registering or subscribing.

Try it. This is the address of a WSJ article: Drillers Begin Recycling 'Frack Water' - WSJ.com

If you use the article's title in a Google search, clicking on the WSJ link works also.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 12:00:34 AM by Arizona Hot »

Renegade

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Re: Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 12:25:43 AM »
It works like this. You first copy the web address of any news article that is behind the registration firewall and paste that URL into the Google Search box. Now click the first Google result and you’ll be able to read the full text of the corresponding story without registering or subscribing.

Try it. This is the address of a WSJ article: Drillers Begin Recycling 'Frack Water' - WSJ.com

If you use the article's title in a Google search, clicking on the WSJ link works also.

That didn't work for me, but using Google's cache did:

http://webcache.goog...=au&client=opera


Comment on article - Caution: opinionated
It really sounds like a serial axe murderer promising to sterilize his axes and clean up his messes with no more blood spatter on the walls. Unreal.

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 12:32:34 AM by Renegade »

Arizona Hot

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Re: Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 07:50:13 AM »
It works like this. You first copy the web address of any news article that is behind the registration firewall and paste that URL into the Google Search box. Now click the first Google result and you’ll be able to read the full text of the corresponding story without registering or subscribing.

Try it. This is the address of a WSJ article: Drillers Begin Recycling 'Frack Water' - WSJ.com

If you use the article's title in a Google search, clicking on the WSJ link works also.

That didn't work for me, but using Google's cache did:

http://webcache.goog...=au&client=opera



It's a hack. I was wondering how many people would be interested in it.

Renegade

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Re: Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 07:53:34 AM »
It's a hack. I was wondering how many people would be interested in it.

I've seen it work before. I think they set cookies though, and "ban" you if you've been there before. Not sure if that's right or not. Didn't work this time though.

But yeah - I'd be interested in knowing better, more reliable ways. There's no way I'm going to buy a subscription to the WSJ.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stoic Joker

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Re: Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 09:37:08 AM »
Try it. This is the address of a WSJ article: [url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203937004578077183112409260.html#project%3DWATERS1119]Drillers Begin Recycling 'Frack Water' - WSJ.com

Worked for me using Google (twice), I also comfirmed that it did not work with Bing. Bing gave the same link result but did not successfully make it to the full article.

app103

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Re: Google Hack Gives Free Access to Premium Newspaper Articles
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 02:07:31 AM »
Didn't work for me. Even spoofing the Googlebot didn't work. Only could read the article from Google's cache.