Local Newspaper Chain to Hide from Google

MediaNews Group plans to hide subscription content from search engines

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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Local Newspaper Chain to Hide from Google

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If you're looking for local stories online from the San Jose Mercury News, you might not be able to find them through Google.

MediaNews Group, which owns several Bay Area papers including the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times, may not let Google find what you might be looking for.

The company, which plans to charge subscription fees for access to local news stories on its Web sites next year, will likely also hide those articles from Google's search index and news site.

However, most of the content, including sports and breaking news, will remain free online.

The Wall Street Journal charges a subscription to read full articles, but if a user finds the article through Google News, they can read the whole story for free.

But Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp. which owns the Journal, has threatened to cut off access to that organization's content, while possibly signing an exclusive deal with Microsoft's search engine Bing.

The Denver-based MediaNews group is still considering exactly how it plans to implement its online subscription and search strategy, and is currently doing testing in Chico, Calif.

Jackson West would rather be able to find the local news and ignore the national and sports stories.

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