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We plan on giving our users 5 free article views before prompting them to buy a subscription. (for logged in or anonymous users).

This will be a cookie-based security (we are all aware of the drawbacks!).

Now, considering Google crawling our site. Can we tell in code "always show the full article if the agent is the "Google Crawler" or that would be cloaking?

Since we give "5" free views, would that be OK?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use what is known as "first page free". This is where you allow Google, and anyone coming from Google, to view that content without being logged in. Experts-exchange.com is an example of a website that currently does this. If they want to see more content then they need to login. Of course, they can work around this by continually coming to the pages they want to view from Google's search results.

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