Google Tests Expanded Search to Include Printed Works
Google Labs is currently testing Google Print, which returns results from within scanned printed books along with Google’s standard web search results.
The searcher doesn’t have to do anything special – the printed work results are already included in the Google database. Searchers have the option of narrowing their search by including, for example, the word “book” in their search terms. For example, a search on “home repair” might return a variety of web sites, online merchants, etc., while changing the search to “home repair book” will help filter the results to include more material scanned directly from books.
Publishers don’t want their entire books read online of course, so Google limits the number of pages a single user may read at any one time. A user can see the page where their search was found, plus they can go two pages forward and two pages backward from their original result page. Google provides links to merchants where the book can be purchased. Google earns no revenue from book purchases, but they do display their contextual advertising within the Google Print results, and they share this with participating publishers.
Once you’ve found your search terms in a book, you can then enter additional search terms that will be limited to the book itself, rather than the entire web. Google’s selection includes both fiction and non-fiction, technical reference and professional books, textbooks, and more.
Since Google Print is currently in testing, a searcher won’t necessarily find results from every book they expect to see. As the program grows, Google has indicated they will continue to add books to their searchable database. Publishers who want to participate can do so for free.
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.sitetube.com. Visit his website for the latest on planning, building, promoting and maintaining websites.