TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Google Expands Online News Index

Google Expands Online News Index

Michael Liedtke, AP (
Wed, 06 Sep 2006 12:28:12 -0500

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Business Writer

Google Inc. is expanding its online news index to include stories
published years ago, continuing the Internet search leader's recent
efforts to create new sales channels for long-established media while
it strives to make its own Web site even more useful.

The news archive to be unveiled Wednesday includes old articles
provided by a long list of media, including The New York Times, The
Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and The Washington Post.

Other leading information storehouses like LexisNexis, Factiva and
HighBeam, also have opened up sections of their databases to Google's
expanded index.

Until now, Google's 4-year-old news search service has focused
primarily on stories posted on the Web during the past 30 days.

The new archives feature will only share excerpts from stories related
to users' requests, which are expected to range from seminal moments
in history to minutiae about sports and science.

To see the full stories, Google's visitors will be sent to the Web
sites that own the content. Those referrals figure to provide media
outlets with more opportunities to charge for access to the full
stories a common practice when people want to read historical

"This is going to be a very good thing for us," said Vivian Schiller,
senior vice president and general manager of "There is a
tremendous hunger out there for our archives."

Google won't collect any commissions for the sales referrals, hoping
instead to make money indirectly from increased usage of its own site
-- the hub of a vast advertising network -- that accounted for most of
the company's $1.3 billion profit during the first half of this year.

The arrangement marks Google's latest attempt to demonstrate the value
of its search engine to the traditional media, a segment that has
sometimes railed against the Mountain View-based company for profiting
from the display of content owned by others.

The friction triggered a copyright infringement lawsuit by one major
news organization, Agence France-Presse, which is seeking at least
$17.5 million in damages. Google has denied the allegations.

Signs of a more cordial relationship with major media have emerged
during the past month as Google announced separate business deals with
The Associated Press and Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks. The search engine
also is aggressively promoting a video service that allows television
networks and movie studios to sell content.

The news archive service represents "a perfect example of how we can
work with content providers to realize their business goals," said Jim
Gerber, Google's content partnerships director.

Patrick Spain, chief executive of HighBeam Research Inc., views
Google's new service as a significant breakthrough for his
Chicago-based service, which charges for access to most of the 40
million articles in its database.

"We would love to have people just come to HighBeam to do all their
searches in the first place, but we are not naive enough to believe
that is going to happen," he said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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