The standard Google News has been a little more open lately about how many news sources are getting indexed, and now Google News is getting in on the act as well. Google News announced last week that its news archive has been quadrupled, with new publications both from the US (Village Voice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and abroad (Manila Standard, The Nation).
The direct URL for Google News’ advanced archive search is http://news.google.com/archivesearch/advanced_search. There you can narrow your search by a variety of options including date range and source. You can also narrow down your results to only those archives which are free.
Just to get a sense of how large the archives are, I did a search for a. I got about 328 million results. (By the way, you can also do a plain search for a on Google’s Web search. You’ll get over 17 billion results at this writing. Yes. 17 billion.) Running that search and looking for free articles only finds you about 179 million results, so based on this you can guess that something like half the Google News archives are free. (I’d have to do a lot more searching and calculating before I’d feel very confident about that, though.)
If you don’t want to use the date range option in the advanced search, you can use the timeline view at the top of the search results to narrow you results to a particular year span. When you do that you’ll get another timeline that lets you narrow down your results even further, as you can see in the screenshot below.
You might notice that the search results also have links for related news articles (which unfortunately do not restrict themselves to the fee options you initially requested) and related Web pages. I found the related Web pages option was a good way to find new keywords for my topic, as Google seems to be doing some kind of relevant keyword extraction on the news archives.
I had never used Google News’ archives that much, as it seemed to be mostly paid articles with a fairly limited offering. I’m very impressed with the new extent of the offerings. You know what would be absolutely perfect? The ability to set a Google Alert so that you get an e-mail when articles with the keyword of your choice are added to the archives.