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Friday, 22nd September 2006

Search Briefs: Where Have they Been Doing? Publishers aim for some control of search results

+ Publishers aim for some control of search results (via Reuters)

Global publishers, fearing that Web search engines such as Google are encroaching on their ability to generate revenue, plan to launch an automated system for granting permission on how to use their content.

This is far from a new issue. For publishers who don't want their full text content accessible (for free) via a large web engine after a certain period of time simply take the article(s) offline. CMS systems can handle this easily. Yes, it's hard to stop users who simply copy and reprint, but that's another issue. Also, caching/archiving can be stopped by using the no-archive option that all of the large crawlers and the Internet Archive offer.

"Since search engine operators rely on robotic 'spiders' to manage their automated processes, publishers' Web sites need to start speaking a language which the operators can teach their robots to understand," according to a document seen by Reuters that outlines the publishers' plans.

Seems like some publishers already understand how it all works.

For example, Washington Post material is not cached by the Internet Archive and it's also hard to find cached content in Google. Here's their robots.txt file and notice that the Internet Archive is not allowed to crawl the WPOST site. Of course, another option might be to make the full text free for a certain period (not have it cached) and then sell the content after that set date. Of course, good researchers know that lots of this content is available at no charge, 24x7x365, using remote access to a library.

See Also: Global Publishers Head Off Legal Clash With Search Engines
See Also: No Archive/No Cache Info from Ask, Gigablast, Google, Yahoo.

See Also: Although Topix.net (with one of the largest open web indicies available and a ResourceShelf favorite) now offers a wonderful one-year archive. However, Topix is constantly checking these urls and, if they are removed, they are taken out of the database OR a link to purchase the content is made available.

+ Test out the new result pages for Google (via ZDNet)
Garett explains how to take a peek at this text.

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