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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Read articles behind pay-wall / login without paying [How-To]

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Here is a quickie tip that I often have to use. Many a websites place their articles behind a paywall, or require users to login, before he or she can read the article. Expensive & cumbersome, respectively. As it turns out, on many a occasion, Google comes to the rescue.

As evident in the screenshot below, while attempting to read this Financial Times [FT] article, I am prompted by the website to login, before allowing me to read it. The reason for doing so is to restrict the number of articles that non-paying members can read on their site.

Read articles behind a paywall without paying

However, using Google's cache: search operator along with the article's URL, you a view & read the cached version of the page, that Google's spiders indexed while crawling through the FT's site earlier. The cached page would, in all likelihood last, till the time of the next crawl [or, in FT's case, perhaps forever]. Alternately, if you have the No-Script addon installed in your browser, you will not be prompted for the login screen at all seen above.

Read articles behind a paywall without paying

You need to ensure that the word cache is all in lower-case.

Read articles behind a paywall without paying

Yet another method that often turns up positive result when looking for the full article hidden behind a paywall is a keyword search. This works for sites likes Janes, which publishes only a portion of its article for the non-paying visitors to read, while the rest can be read by paid subscribers only. The trick is to select a portion of the text available for public reading & then Google it. Quite often, you will discover that some kind soul has uploaded the whole article somewhere on the Internet, which Google has diligently indexed.

For the perusal of your personal indulgent reading pleasure, only.

Godspeed

Earlier: Automatically backup hard disk data across multiple Dropbox accounts


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