Home Google News Shuts Down Newspaper Archiving Project

Google News Shuts Down Newspaper Archiving Project

A project that has more to do with Google’s past than with its future is being shutdown as the company has announced that its News Archive Project will no longer update features and functionality.

In an email to newspaper publishers, Google said that it is closing down the project and will instead focus on its publisher subscription service Google One Pass, according to the alt-weekly Boston Phoenix. The project was similar to what Google has done with books in scanning and archiving the world’s libraries. It was an altruistic goal by Google but may not be a fit for its future that includes Chromebooks and Androids and apps.

“News Archive was generally a good deal for newspapers — especially smaller ones like ours, who couldn’t afford the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars it would have cost to digitally scan and index our archives — and a decent bet for Google,” wrote Carly Carioli of the Boston Phoenix.

Carioli postulates that the New Archive project was more cumbersome than Google had envisioned or that it got fewer page views than expected. The truth is probably in between somewhere.

In the end, it turns out to be a great deal for newspapers.

Carioli’s thoughts:

“Are we mad at that? Ehhh, not really. The deal Google struck with partner newspapers stipulated that, somewhere down the line, a paper could purchase Google’s digital scans of its content for a fee. That fee is now being waived, and Google is not only giving publishers free access to the scanned files, but also the rights to publish them with other partners. In essence, Google just scanned a huge chunk of the newspaper industry’s valuable long-tail content, and then handed it to the publishers. (It’s been a couple of rough years. We’ll take it.)

Users can continue to search digitized papers, according to Search Engine Land. The Phoenix was unsure if Google would continue to scan microfilm and newspapers that publishers had sent in to be archived but had not yet been finished.

Image: The Lewiston Daily Sun, Oct. 29, 1986

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