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Google Targets Content Aggregating Market

Search technology powerhouse Google has set it sights on the news aggregation market, officially rolling out Google News, which shuttles third-party links to the day's top news stories.

As earlier reported, Google News points surfers to news stories from 4,000 content providers in five categories: world, U.S, business, entertainment, technology and sports.

The new search facility, which is still in beta, was officially added to Google's home page Monday, a move that puts it before millions of eyeballs using the company's popular search technology.

The service, which updates continuously throughout the day, is targeting the consumer audience but it is not a stretch to imagine Google will soon hawk this to the enterprise market. It puts it up against similar-type services being sold by San Francisco-based Moreover Technologies and Tucows-owned NewsHub and NewsNow.

At the very least, industry watchers expect Google to begin selling targeted news packages to large-scale enterprise clients looking to plug feeds into intranets and internal news services.

Such a move would also put Google up against the Yahoo's enterprise-focused My Yahoo service, which shuttles content from 2,000 publications to corporate customers.

The My Yahoo Enterprise Edition 5.0, which just underwent a major facelift, is a key part of Yahoo's migration from an ad-dependent portal to a full-fledged B2B services firm and it's clear Google is intent on cashing in on this lucrative market.

While Google News only grabs headlines from news sources today, analysts expect the service to be tweaked for enterprise rollouts to include business research data, targeted news feeds from vertical industries and even portal customers looking to embed niche content to its customers.

"Google News is highly unusual in that it offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention," Google said in a note accompanying Monday's rollout.

"What's different about Google's News Search is the unique grouping technology Google has developed to automatically put related stories together in the same search result. This makes it easy to quickly scan the headlines while providing the option of reading multiple accounts of a story from different news sources," it added.

The Google News feature has also been tweaked to allow users to trace the history of an issue by clicking the "sort by date" function on the page containing all reports on a given topic. This arranges the stories in chronological order, with the most recent report placed first.