Google archive service is old news

September 6th, 2006

Google newsGoogle launched its archive service today, which had been tipped by registering domains like It wasn’t what many had thought — an archive of old versions of Web pages. Here’s the description from the About News Archive page:

“News archive search provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. Users can search for events, people, ideas and see how they have been described over time. In addition to searching for the most relevant articles for their query, users can get an historical overview of the results by browsing an automatically created timeline. Search results include both content that is accessible to all users and content that requires a fee. Articles related to a single story within a given time period are grouped together to allow users to see a broad perspective on the events.”

An article in the NYT, Google to Offer Print-Archives Searches, has more information.

The index includes the entire contents of the archives of major US news sources, including the NYT and Washington Post and Time magazine. Many of the articles found will only be available to source subscribers or for a fee.

“Some of HighBeam’s 3,300 publications and 40 million documents will be available free, while in other cases users will see just the headline and the first 600 characters of a document. To see the whole thing, users must be subscribers to the firm’s service, which costs either $20 a month or a $100 annual fee.

With some publications, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, searchers will be sent to Web sites where they will be able to buy individual articles.”

An interesting feature of Google’s new service is that it can lay out search results on a time line.

The new service is not encyclopedic, Mr. Acharya said, but instead presents users with a representative list of relevant articles that are arranged in a timeline fashion. The service tries to offer a pointer to the time period that is most relevant to the search query. For example, in the case of the search phrase “moon landing,” an arrow points the user to 1969.

This looks like a great resource for scholars of all kinds, from professional to amateur.

See also: posts by SEO watch and TechCrunch.