Newspapers, who have recently struggled to retain advertising revenue, are getting a boost from an unlikely source: Google.

Over the last few months, Google has been piloting a program that offered newspaper ad space to Google Adwords advertisers. That pilot program is likely to lead to an announcement today that Google Adwords advertisers can now buy newspaper ads via their Google Adwords account, reports the New York Times.

More than 225 newspapers are said to be participating in the program, with coverage in 91% of the top 35 media markets.

While newspapers will ask for "rate card" ad rates, advertisers can make a lower offer on the ad space, which will help newspapers fill spaces normally filed by "house ads" which don't generate ad revenue for the newspapers.

This expanded program will offer online advertisers the opportunity to venture into the print world. I see this as good news for advertisers that want to advertise in print, but it's either too daunting or expensive when working directly through the newspapers. There's also the possibility of getting less-than-rate-card rates, which is attractive for small businesses trying to get more advertising coverage in their local markets.