It's not all subtraction at New York Times (NYSE:NYT). The company's guide-powered online information directory is acquiring in a $33 million deal.

It's not easy being a newspaper company these days. Circulation rates, staffs, and page sizes keep getting smaller. However, New York Times has aggressively grown its online turf to compensate; even if it's cutting back elsewhere, the company's investment makes sense here. scours third-party sources for reviews on everything from robotic lawn mowers to air purifiers to online music-subscription services. The site makes money through Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) AdSense program, populating its various category pages with targeted text ads.

Crawling sites as a content source is a popular technique. My favorite example is the movie rating site, now owned by News Corp. (NYSE:NWS). Second-tier search engines like (NASDAQ:MAMA) also rely on a gamut of search engines to fill search requests.

Is this a good deal? It's too early to tell. This morning's release sheds little light on the acquired site's finances, beyond noting that it has just six employees and will begin adding to earnings by next year.

New York Times acquired from magazine whiz Primedia (NYSE:PRM) in a $410 million transaction two years ago. has since helped lead an online media empire slated to grow at a 30% clip.

Buying a meta-review site like ConsumerSearch should create synergies for, if the story of Marchex (NASDAQ:MCHX) is any example. That company turned its purchase of the Open List content aggregator site into the basis for many of its otherwise dormant domains. I trust that New York Times will use Consumer Search to enhance the experience, rather than doing something counterproductive like replacing About's human guides.

It would be a shame to see "all the news that's fit to print" become an automated art form.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still enjoys reading the paper in the morning, but finds it obsolete once breakfast has been consumed. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.