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2/27/2009
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Google News Gets Text Ads

It's a significant turning point for Google News, which has been ad-free since its beta launch in April 2002.

In November, Google began placing ads where no ads had gone before, launching text and image ads in Google Image Search, text ads on Google Finance, and Sponsored Videos on YouTube.

On Wednesday, Google revved its revenue engine further, adding text ads to search results in Google News.

It's a significant turning point for Google News, which has been ad-free since its beta launch in April 2002, apart from overlays on videos provided by select news partners.

"In recent months we've been experimenting with a variety of different formats, like overlay ads on embedded videos from partners like the AP," explained Google business product manager Josh Cohen in a blog post. "We've always said that we'd unveil these changes when we could offer a good experience for our users, publishers, and advertisers alike, and we'll continue to look at ways to deliver ads that are relevant for users and good for publishers, too."

The Associated Press, coincidentally, has been pursuing a lawsuit against All Headline News Corp. for misappropriating its breaking news stories. A recent ruling in the case supports the notion that AP has a quasi-property right in its "hot news" stories and could end up giving AP more leverage in future negotiations with sites like Google News that make use of small amounts of AP content.

AP did not respond to a request for comment.

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