Google released its big list of 39 changes it made in May. One particularly interesting change deals with how Google handles results from the books it scans. The change says:
Scoring and infrastructure improvements for Google Books pages in Universal Search.[launch codename “Utgo”, project codename “Indexing”] This launch transitions the billions of pages of scanned books to a unified serving and scoring infrastructure with web search. This is an efficiency, comprehensiveness and quality change that provides significant savings in CPU usage while improving the quality of search results.
Unifying Google books scans with web search, should only add to Google's enormous datapool, recently enhanced by the Knowledge Graph. Printed books are obviously important to Google's stated mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible.
Now, if Google could just get that Twitter firehose back, and some personal Facebook data...
Google does continue to focus a great deal on freshness.
As far as book scans go, Google faces other obstacles there. Last week, news came out that a judge had granted authors and photographers the ability to sue Google over it.