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day permlink Saturday, 3 January 2004

permlink Google the Printed Works of Humanity?

Google the Printed Works of Humanity?: Via Workbench, I've learned there's now something called Google Print (in beta). From the FAQ:
Google's mission is to provide access to all the world's information and make it universally useful and accessible. It turns out that not all the world's information is already on the Internet, so Google has been experimenting with a number of publishers to test their content online. During this trial, publishers' content is hosted by Google and is ranked in our search results according to the same technology we use to evaluate websites.

On Google Print pages, we provide links to some popular book sellers that may offer the full versions of these publications for sale...
It looks like you can restrict your search to just look inside books by adding as one of your search terms. Clicking on a book's title takes you to a page with an excerpt, links to buy it from various vendors, and a few ads.

This is a mighty cool idea... Amazon's also done something that's similar, but not exactly so. For one thing, Amazon has little incentive to include out-of-print books in its search engine, whereas Google could (and should) include the over-3500 public-domain books in Project Gutenberg in its book population. (Links to the PG version of such books on the result pages would also be welcome.)

Not to mention the convenience of results appearing in a Google search (where you're probably searching from already) versus remembering to go to Amazon to find something in a book you don't necessarily want to buy.

Plus, there's Amazon's everpresent fusillade of ads both graphical and textual versus the lightweight design of Google's pages (which makes everything faster to navigate, let alone render). So, yay Google. permlink  

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