Google News is looking to clear up a sea of redundant wire stories by directly providing content from The Associated Press, Britain’s Press Association, Canadian Press and Agence France-Presse. The move is part of licensing agreements that have been stuck over the past year.
Google says it believes its users will be better served if they won’t have to pore through search results listing the same story posted on different sites. They add that this will make it easier to discover other news stories at other Web sites that might previously have been buried.
"This may result in certain publishers losing traffic for their news wire stories, but it will allow more room for their original content.” – Josh Cohen, business product manager for Google News
Above: A comparison between the same AP story on Google News and Boston Herald.com.
The approach promises a more consistent news reading experience but there is a disadvantage: Both Google and Yahoo will have to pull these licensed articles after a set period of time, usually 30 days.
According to paidContent.org, this will reawaken frustration over the way Google News blocks its own site from being crawled.
Update: Earlier this month Google News took another step away from just being a news aggregator and by allowing comments from a special group of readers, “those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question.”
An unsigned LA Times editorial thinks Google has crossed the line.