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August 31, 2007

Google News Starts to Host Content

Adding comments and videos hosted by YouTube were a clear signal that Google News starts to become more aggressive and wants to go beyond the comfortable status of being a news aggregator.

(source: Hitwise. The market share for news & media sites, based on US Internet usage for the the week ending August 25, 2007)

As a results of its partnerships with important news agencies like AFP and Associated Press, Google News will host original content from these sources.

"Our goal has always been to offer users as many different perspectives on a story from as many different sources as possible, which is why we include thousands of sources from around the world in Google News. However, if many of those stories are actually the exact same article, it can end up burying those different perspectives. (...) By removing duplicate articles from our results, we'll be able to surface even more stories and viewpoints from journalists and publishers from around the world. (...) Because the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association and the Canadian Press don't have a consumer website where they publish their content, they have not been able to benefit from the traffic that Google News drives to other publishers. As a result, we're hosting it on Google News," explains the Google News Blog.

It's unclear whether Google will monetize the hosted content or will add new features that let users interact with news. What's clear is that today is a turning point for Google News that could bring more users and less friends from the press.

Google News was created as a tool that clusters related stories so you can read different perspectives on the same event. Unlike Yahoo News, Google News doesn't have editors: the homepage and all the other sections are generated algorithmically. Until this month, the site didn't host original content, so you could only find headlines, snippets and thumbnails from articles. To read the entire article, you had to go to a different site. Google was sued by many news organizations, including AFP, for copyright infringement and some of them won.

Example of article hosted by Google News:

The history of Google News


  1. > Unlike Yahoo News, Google News
    > doesn't have editors

    They do have editors: the Google News editors select and approve comments, and they also select and approve news sources for inclusion in Google News. That's actually quite important, because if you're not selected you won't be crawled, and thus not displayed, in Google News. In China, Google News editors agreed to remove several government-critical newspapers, for instance, as Google admitted themselves.


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