Yahoo! Delves Further: Subscription Based Content

    June 16, 2005

SEO monster Yahoo announced a new aspect of their respected search engine service. Yahoodlums can now delve deeper in the web than ever for a fee sort of.

Yahoo has thrown out a beta version of a subscription based search engine. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve got pay for Yahoo. Not exactly. Yahoo, in collaboration with a number of subscription based websites, like the Wall Street Journal(WSJ) for example, offers access to content from those sites. The catch is to get to the information, you must be a subscriber to the service you try to link too.

The downside is pretty obvious. If a user really wants access to the info, then they must be a part of the WSJ Online or Consumer Reports or another of the services. In all honesty though, this could be a truly great research tool, especially for academics or people needing to do thorough research.

When I was in college, something like this would’ve been quite useful. I would’ve been a regular Yahoodlum for sure. In many cases the periodicals and journals involved will certainly have print editions. This would allow users to see some of the information to reference or go find a hard copy. Many college libraries carry a lot of periodicals that would fall into this category.

Right now, the way the system works is you have to have a subscription to whatever periodical you’re interested in. A pay-per-view option would be brilliant. It would allow people to really just get what they need and not worry about signing for a free month or paying the fees.

The benefit for Yahoo, as always is revenues via advertising dollars. This will give them more ability to niche market their advertising because not everyone will be looking for an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Yahoo will keep the advertising plan they’ve got for the overall web aspect but a nice topic based package would be worthwhile and could offer some distinctive appeal to those looking for said markets, particularly once the numbers starting coming back. It could be quite similar to advertising in trade journals for Yahoo and they could get quite specific.;

Yahoo isn’t the only company to play with this idea though. Google Scholar toys with this idea. That’s also in the beta stages. Also, Northern Light took a shot at this in their deceased search engine.

Yahoo has got big players in the game so far and promises to get some more big ones on board.

Consumer Reports – All online content

Forrester Research – All online reports – All articles from the past 60 days

IEEE – All technical articles since 1988 and selected content older than 1988.

New England Journal of Medicine – All full-text articles – All articles from 2005

Wall Street Journal – All articles from the past 30 days referencing companies that are publicly traded in the US.

Yahoo promises more to come too including Factiva and Lexis Nexis. This new development is exivint for Yahoo with the Yahoo Subsciption Service. It gives them another leg in the extrmely competitive SEO market. They still need to offer the pay-per-view thing though.


John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.