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September 6, 2006


Just opened.

Read Kevin J. Delaney's story in today's Wall Street Journal (below), then say adios to what you're supposed to be doing and enter the wormhole.

    Google Service Lets Users Search For Archived News

    Google Inc. plans to launch a service today that allows people to search for news articles dating as far back as the 1700s, a move that could broaden the market for news-archive services.

    The Mountain View, Calif., Internet company is working with media outlets such as New York Times Co. and Washington Post Co., as well as news-retrieval services such as Reed Elsevier Inc.'s LexisNexis, to make articles available through the Google service. The Wall Street Journal and Factiva, a news-retrieval service jointly owned by Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. and Reuters Group PLC, also are making articles searchable through the new Google service.

    Using the new Google News Archive Search, consumers will be able to search the full text of articles using keywords and to view snippets of the articles grouped chronologically on Google's site, before clicking through to sites operated by the content owners or their licensees to see the entire articles. Consumers in some cases will be able to obtain free viewing of the articles, or they can pay a fee for access.

    The content owners or their licensees will handle article delivery and any pricing and billing. Google says it won't host content itself or charge content owners or consumers for the service. Google also won't sell advertising on the service at its release.

    Google News Archive Search includes articles that have been difficult or impossible for users to find through search engines. Google's regular news service, for example, includes content only from the previous 30 days. Consumers can access some archival news databases free online through libraries, but not everyone is aware of how to do that.

    Google declined to say how many content owners were included or exactly how many articles would be available.

    New York Times said it will make available more than two million articles dating as far back as 1981 through the Google service. It expects to finish digitizing articles dating back to the newspaper's founding in the 1850s within roughly the next year. Consumers pay $4.95 per article to access roughly two-thirds of the New York Times archives; the rest are free with the company generating revenue from ads displayed alongside the articles.

    Time Warner Inc.'s Time magazine will provide free access through the Google service to the magazine's archives dating back to its founding in 1923. That represents close to 300,000 articles. Those articles, which are accompanied by online ads, will continue to be available free through the magazine's Web site.

    The news-archive service also includes articles that Google has indexed from the Web without formal arrangements with their publishers. That practice prompted a copyright lawsuit filed by French news agency Agence France-Presse in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last year. The news agency alleged that Google's presentation of short excerpts of its articles and photos constituted copyright infringement. Google says it allows publishers to opt out of Google News and that it has removed AFP content from its news site.

    Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of the SearchEngineWatch.com industry tracking site, says the new Google service could allow "news publishers to make more money off their archives" through fees and ad revenue.

September 6, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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