Google reach deals with news websites from the Sunday Herald reports that Google has reached a deal with several large UK newsgroups to carry content on Google News, but Google tells me no such deals have been agreed.
"It is categorically no," said spokesperson Jessica Powell. "We don’t pay to index news content."
Of course, Google has struck deals with news providers to use content in ways beyond what it considers to be fair use. It could be that the Sunday Herald report is covering something like this. However, Google says it has not signed any deals of this nature recently. As for deals in the works, the company doesn’t comment about those, it said.
AFP & Google Settle Over Google News Copyright Case covers more about the type of content deals with news providers that Google has done. The two major ones have been with wire services — the Associated Press, back in August 2006, and Agence France-Presse, in April 2007.
Recently, the editor of the UK’s Daily Telegraph had made noises about threatening Google and Yahoo to pay for indexing his content:
Our ability to protect content is under consistent attack from those such as Google and Yahoo who wish to access it for free. These companies are seeking to build a business model on the back of our own investment without recognition. All media companies need to be on guard for this. Success in the digital age, as we have seen in our own company, is going to require massive investment… [this needs] effective legal protection for our content, in such a way that allows us to invest for the future.
That’s leading some (and here) to speculate this rumor relates to a deal with the Telegraph. Perhaps, but it would be unusual, if so. To date, Google’s made no publicly-known news deal with an individual newspaper group. Wire services, yes. Industry groups, (both yes and no, in Belgium). Individual newspaper publisher? Not yet.