How to read paid content – without paying


Has this ever happened to you? You are looking at a popular news website, and you see an article that looks interesting. You click on the article to read it, but then you only see the first few lines. To read the rest, you have to purchase a paid subscription. You really don’t want to buy a subscription just to read that one article.

For some sites, there is a way around that – thanks to Google.

To show you how to do this, I will use the Wall Street Journal as an example.

Let’s say I go to the online version of the Journal (here). I see an interesting article on earnings reports. But when my mouse goes to click on it, a little window pops up that says this article is only available to subscribers. However, I can read a “preview”:

When I click to read the preview, I only see the first couple of paragraphs:

Here’s how I can read the whole article. First, highlight the title of the article and click Ctrl + C to copy it.

Then, go to Google and put your cursor in the search bar. Click Ctrl + V to paste it, and click the Search button. When the Google search results come up, you will be pleasantly surprised to see that the article you wanted to read is right there at the top of the list (in this case, it was the first 2 results):

When you click on that title from Google, you will see the entire article, in all its financial splendor, right there on the Wall Street Journal website.

The Wall Street Journal is completely aware of this procedure, so don’t feel like you’re scamming them by reading their articles for free. They know that the articles show up in the Google search results, and they want it that way because of Google’s value to their website. They could turn this off at any time (but they probably won’t).

Practically speaking, if you find yourself using this workaround regularly to read all of the paid articles on a website, you might find it a lot easier to just pay for a subscription. That’s up to you.

This week’s video is a commercial that made me chuckle:

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