updated 6/16/2005 1:47:19 PM ET 2005-06-16T17:47:19

Yahoo Inc. on Thursday said it is starting up a search service that trolls through subscriber-only Web sites once off-limits to search programs.

The beta Yahoo Search Subscriptions service will allow users to rummage through content from sites that are normally reserved for paying subscribers, including ConsumerReports.org, The Wall Street Journal Online, TheStreet.com and others. It's a portal to the "deep Web," Yahoo said, which includes millions of access-restricted sites that Yahoo's regular search tool could not previously dig through.

But users still have to subscribe to the sites if they want to view content, Yahoo said.

"We are in the very early stages of providing our users with access to the deep Web through Yahoo search subscriptions and over the coming months we plan to expand this program to further accommodate our users' wide range of interests," said Eckart Walther, Yahoo Search vice president of product management.

The company said content will be added in the coming weeks from Factiva, LexisNexis AlaCarte! pay-as-you-go, Thomson Gale and other services.

About 372 million unique users search Yahoo's site. The company's shares rose 27 cents to $36.59 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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