Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has taken the next step in the evolution of its Google News product: it has begun hosting material produced by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, The Press Association in UK and The Canadian Press. An AP example is here. It will still be linking to those stories on numerous newspaper/broadcast websites and other online sources that syndicate stories from these agencies, but could potentially diminish traffic these sites as users stay on Google News’ pages…and possibly even affect their online ad revenues, if you want to stretch the logic.
Google and AP reached a temporary deal two years ago, as we reported first, and Google-AFP deal got finalized earlier this year. Since then, negotiations have been going on. The new approach won’t change the look of Google News or affect the way the section handles material produced by other media, an AP story says. Google also said it isn’t altering its formula for finding news, so the material from the AP and other services won’t be elevated in the pecking order of its search results.
To placate some of the fears of other news sources, Google doesn’t have any immediate plans to run ads alongside the news stories or photographs hosted on its site, but company officials aren’t ruling out the possibility in the future.
In this sense, Google News now becomes closer in intent to Yahoo news, and other portals’ news sections.
Updated: Also in the AP story, updated later, Vlae Kershner, news director for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, said Google News mostly refers readers interested in reading the newspaper’s staff-written stories. “This is going to have a very minimal impact on our traffic,” he said.
Google has been expanding on its news search over the last few months, and recently incorporated click-and-expand news video from some YouTube content partners–BBC, Hearst Tv station, Reuters and CBS– as part of a limited test. Also, to some controversy, it recently added comments to some stories indexed within Google News (see related links below). Also, there was a curious report in May out of UK which said that Google had struck deals with UK newspaper publishers for content carriage on Google News, and the company later denied it…there could be some credence to that story now, with UK’s PA being in the new deal above. The related links below gives some good context to all these developments.