The world's biggest wire service and the leading search engine have worked out their differences. Google (GOOG) and the Associated Press have reached a new licensing deal that ensures the latter's content will be hosted on Google News for a long time to come.

A previous pact that allowed Google to host (rather than merely link to) AP stories expired in January. Google briefly stopped adding new hosted AP stories, then resumed under the auspices of an interim agreement.

Terms of the new deal were not announced, but SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan interprets it as a victory for Google, which held back from offering the concessions the AP was looking for -- namely, more money. While AP has suggested it might have a legal case against Google and other aggregators that link to its stories without permission, that threat appears to have carried little force during the negotiations.

But that doesn't mean AP walked away with nothing. Both sides say they are interested in ensuring that users who search for news are able to find authoritative professional articles, not just quickie rehashes produced on the cheap by the likes of The Huffington Post, Newser or Mashable. In AP's vision, search results for news stories would lead with an article from the outlet that broke the story, not the one with the most sophisticated SEO. AP hinted at something like that in its announcement of the deal Monday, saying, "Under the agreement, AP and Google will also work together in a number of new areas, such as ways to improve discovery and distribution of news."

Google, meanwhile, said
, "We look forward to future collaborations, including on ways Google and AP can work together to create a better user experience and new revenue opportunities."

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