The New York Sun, Washington Post.Newsweek Interactive, NewsOK, the Huffington Post, the Deal LLC, and NameMedia have so far signed up for the service.
The idea is to encourage visitors to start their searches for additional articles on newspapers' own sites, rather than go to Google News or another news aggregator, said Julian Steinberg, Inform's vice president of operations. "If you give your users all the functionality and content that your users want online, then your users will keep coming back day in and day out," he said.
The Inform Publisher Service brings the company's news search engine on-site for a newspaper client, highlights relevant keywords, and allows users to click on them to search for more news stories from other publications. The service also allows newspapers to build special content areas on their own sites about specific topics.
Marketing analyst Greg Sterling said the service could help publishers keep visitors on their sites--but only if Inform can simplify the product from the news search engine it has offered consumers. "What they have is impressive," he said, but added that Inform will have to make the service "simple and more accessible."
He added that Inform's consumer platform delivered quality results, but was too complex for most users. "There were just so many features there, it was just confusing to people," he said. "It wasn't as competitive as the other news aggregators, like Google and Yahoo."