Here’s another whacky trick that Google have quietly introduced, adding to the impression they are fast cementing their role as one-stop portal: Book searching. According to SearchEngineWatch (via the excellent TechDirt), Google Print is an experimental service that “indexes excerpts of popular books, blending the content from these works into regular Google search results”.
These excerpts are usually the blurb, for now. True to its apparent intention to make itself indispensable before it starts collecting cash, Google says book sellers pay nothing for links from these search results, and it is not benefiting if you make a purchase from one of these retailers. It’s likely that Google will eventually do what Amazon does already, namely offer full text searches of books, although these kind of searches will have to be crippled in some way to prevent users from downloading whole books online.
Can’t remember where I read this, but of course all this has wonderful side-effects for those of looking for something in a book we already own: So long as Amazon (or later, Google) have the book scanned, it would be quicker to do a keyword search there than to check the index, or leaf through the chapter list. Voila.