Monday, June 27, 2005


BusinessWeek on Yahoo "deep search" -- the iTunes of news?


JUNE 27, 2005

Here Comes the iTunes of News

By Sarah Lacy
Business Week Online

Publishers are hooking up with the Web's search giants to give surfers access to individual articles for a small fee

When Web users wanted to carve up CDs and pay by the song, the music industry initially balked. But now that Netizens want the same thing from newspapers, magazines, and research reports, Web publishers are only too happy to oblige.

A big step toward this goal was taken on June 16, when Yahoo! (YHOO ) struck a deal with a smattering of publishers giving the portal permission to go beyond searching the free areas of their Web sites and into protected zones where readers would need to pay to access content. As a result, a search for, say "Microsoft news" could turn up a Wall Street Journal article or a Forrester Research report that's unavailable to the nonpaying public.

Rival search company Google (GOOG ) already does this on a handful of sites. But Yahoo has signed up a broader set of partners, including The Wall Street Journal Online, LexisNexis, Consumer Reports, and Forrester Research.

SPECIAL SEARCH. If Yahoo and Google can continue to persuade Web publishers to open their vaults, they could finally crack open the so-called "deep Web," or sites previously walled off to everyone but paying customers. Today, 67% of Internet users stop at Yahoo, Google, or Microsoft's (MSFT ) MSN for information before traveling to other destinations.

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