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Google Indexes 200 Years of News

Google Indexes 200 Years of News

Google is offering a new service that will let readers search the archives of newspapers, magazines and other publications dating back more than 200 years, considerably extending its already-powerful influence over how the world's information is searched, indexed and accessed.

By Erika Morphy
09/06/06 2:18 PM PT

Continuing its quest to index all of the world's information online, Google has released Google News Archive Search, a service that offers a wide selection of previously published material, some of it dating back centuries.

Articles that are already offered for free elsewhere on the Web will be available at no cost through Archive Search. However, premium content will be available only for a fee -- an arrangement welcomed by publishers that have been jealously guarding their turf and content since the advent of e-commerce.

To offer the service, Google has brokered deals with a number of media outlets, including The New York Times and Time magazine.

Robust Platform

Those deals are perhaps the most interesting part of Google's latest product rollout, Matt Booth, senior analyst with the Kelsey Group, told TechNewsWorld. "For a long time, publishers regarded Google -- and other search engines that offered news content -- as a serious competitor."

Under this model, Google will not collect a percentage of the fees or handle the transactions. However, Google might eventually offer publishers the option of using its newly introduced Checkout service -- especially if it rolls out a more robust news platform.

"Right now, Google just links to articles on the Web," Booth said, referring to its current news page. "The fact that they want to do more graphical advertising suggests that they will build out this feature to mimic Yahoo's a little more."

Following Yahoo

Yahoo is clearly the leader with its news platform, Booth noted -- as well as with its financial channel, a category also newly launched by Google that is woefully lacking in content. However, Google has shown time and time again that it is quite adept at making up lost ground.

Google's archived news product can be viewed as another move in a larger chess game, he suggested. Yahoo has a more comprehensive network for graphical ads, maintains good vertical channels with robust content, and has experience moving traffic from one channel to another.

Google is unsurpassed in search and in text-based advertising.

"It will be interesting to see which model -- a focus on search or a focus on content -- will turn out to be the correct one," Booth commented.

It may be that the industry will never find out, though. As Google is illustrating with its news archive product, established models continue to morph and merge into entirely new offerings.


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