BetaNews has learned that Google is testing a premium service that will open up mainstream access to the “Deep Web,” allowing webmasters with restricted or subscription content to let in Google and provide the masses with free previews.
The service is being tested server-side with a small number of sites that are under strict confidentiality agreements.
Premium content will be indexed and tagged as paid, and will be displayed in a special content area on the right side of Googles search results underneath the AdSense advertising links.
Some paid articles are “first click free” and will appear within Googles “natural” aggregated search results—if the participating publication decides that the content should be accessible when Google is the referrer.
Yahoo announced its own Yahoo Search Subscription this month in an effort to surface normally restricted content. “This enables consumers to access their personal subscription content in one place via Yahoo Search,” a Yahoo spokesperson told BetaNews.
In contrast to Yahoo, Google has kept its efforts shrouded in secrecy. “We are under a strict confidentiality agreement. Weve been told several times by Google that anyone outside the XXXXX or YYYYY organizations are not allowed to share this info,” a source close to testing told BetaNews.