Yahoo Mines The “Deep Web”

Yahoo announced it has started testing a service that
allows users to search subscriber-only Web sites such as LexisNexis and the
Wall Street Journal Online, areas known as “Deep Web.”

The new search service, Yahoo Search Subscriptions, moves the Internet
media company closer to rival Google as a distributor and aggregator of
paid-for content, allowing people to search for information on sites that
search engines typically cannot access.

“We are in the very early stages of providing our users with access to
the deep Web through Yahoo Search Subscriptions, and over the coming months
we plan to expand this program to further accommodate our users’ wide range
of interests,” Eckart Walther, vice president of product management for Yahoo
Search, said in a statement. “For the first time, publishers can bring
content to their subscribers on a broad scale through a leading search
engine.”

The service, initially available only in the United States and the United
Kingdom, will attempt to build loyalty by letting people customize search to
meet specific needs, the company said.

The strategy is also used by Google , Microsoft’s
MSN and others.

This latest gambit in the evolving search battle will allow
users to look at content from sites that are normally restricted to paying
subscribers. Organizations, such as ConsumerReports.org, The Wall Street
Journal Online, TheStreet.com and The New England Journal of Medicine, are
already in line to have content aggregated.

Users can see content from the sites they subscribe to, while non-
subscribers have the option of paying to see it.

The company also believes Yahoo Search Subscriptions will increase the
value of publishers’ subscription programs by making their content more
readily searchable by the Yahoo audience. The service can operate a new
content distribution channel, of sorts, that can help publishers achieve
business objectives.

The company said content will be added in the coming weeks from Factiva,
LexisNexis AlaCarte, Thomson Gale and other services.

“Yahoo Search Subscriptions benefits our online subscribers by providing
a direct channel to our world leading business, financial, geopolitical news
and analysis content through a world-renowned search engine,” said Alex
Withers, director of FT.com Americas. “Partnering with Yahoo makes perfect
sense for publishers looking to provide users with a more well-rounded
search experience.”

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