How To Read The WSJ For Free Online

Other than the Denver Post, which got all the Rocky Mountain News subscribers when that paper shuttered, The Wall Street Journal is the only newspaper in the top 25 to add to its circulation this year.

And though this turn of events probably has as much to do with subscription discounting as anything, everyone likes to say the Journal is adding subscribers at least in part because it’s erected a paywall online. We’ve even come out and said the troubled New York Times should follow the Journal‘s lead.

But all solutions have their problems, and it’d be unfair of us to not point out that you can’t completely have your cake and eat it, too–at least if you want Google traffic in addition to subscriber traffic.

The WSJ wants to be indexed in and accessible via Google.  This is great for Google traffic.  But it also means you don’t really need a WSJ subscription to read any of its content online.

(The little secret that the WSJ understands that most newspapers don’t is that the vast majority of readers will never bother to do this.  The ones that have to read the WSJ for work will buy a subscription.  The rest won’t check it often enough to know what to search for.  But their little secret shouldn’t stop YOU from enjoying the content.)

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to and click around till you see a story with a key icon next to the headline. These are stories you have to have a subscription to read. Click on the story headline.


Step 2: On the story page, highlight and then copy the story headline.


Step 3: Paste the story headline into the Google search box at your browser’s top right. Click through.


Step 4: On the Google search results page, click on the story’s headline again.


Step 5: Boom, you’re done. Repeat as necessary.


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