As usual I received lots of mails and twits this morning containing links to articles in magazine’s and newspapers. When you click the link you find out that the article is behind a paywall. You will have to register and in many cases even pay before you can read the article. No refund when the article turns out to be a lot of crap.

Luckily for some sites there is a little help from my friends.

In Firefox go to add-ons and install User Agent Switcher 0.7.3. Restart Firefox and now before following the link to the article go to Ëxtra/Tools and change the User Agent to “Googlebot 2.1”. Now these sites think you are the Google Robot trying to index their pages.

Because all these posh sites want to keep out the readers but are begging for a high ranking on Google they let you in.

– Will not work on all sites. Last working try was Financial Times, Haaretz.
– Only tried on Firefox, maybe works on other browsers as well
– Don’t forget to change back to “Default User Agent” when you leave the site. For example WordPress won’t let you log in looking like a Googlebot :-).