Earlier this month, we noted that it had been a year since Google had done a deal
with the Associated press and there appeared to be nothing
to show for it. That led to speculation that the deal really had nothing to do with with some new "news" product, and it was really about paying off the AP so it didn't sue Google for linking to AP stories (the way some other
news organizations had done). That seemed strange because it was quite difficult to see what the Associated Press or anyone else had to argue about if Google News was providing their news partners more traffic. However, the snickering over a lack of any real project seems to have kicked Google into action, and they've just announced that they're going to start hosting news content on their own site from the AP
and a few other news organizations the company has done deals with. Amusingly, I was unable to find the AP version of this story hosted on Google itself, but did find the Canadian Press version
. There don't appear to be any advertisements on the Google hosted version, but there are links to "related news" -- which makes a lot of sense. Of course, if I were a publisher partner of the Associated Press, I'd actually be really upset by this deal -- but directed at the Associated Press, rather than at Google. This deal is likely to lower traffic to other sites that republish AP reports. So all those partners get no benefit from the deal and actually lose out on traffic. If there are newspapers who want to get upset about Google News, they should get upset at the AP for basically giving a bunch of their traffic directly to Google.