Web Dev News

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Google Print Launched

"Google Print" has just launched today. I think the idea is to include links to relevant books on Google search results pages. Interesting concept and Google is offering the service free to book authors and publishers (only a portion of the entire book can be viewed online via Google).

That begs the question: if only a portion of the book is viewed online, how much of the book is indexed for Google searching? If you do appropriate searching for the right keywords, could you come up with different snippets of the same book? Could you effectively download an entire book this way?

Google says to publishers that if they simply signup and send Google the book, they will SCAN in the book and index it for free with their search results. The benefit to Google is the increased power of their search results and the fact that no other search engine is indexing book CONTENTS. Nice idea!

I would hate to be the one scanning in the masses of books at Google though! Good luck!

Heres the link: Google Print

Update: I've just checked and Google Print will display up to 2 pages before and after the page of the book that appears in the Search Results. That's effectively 5 pages of the book. For a book of 200 pages you would need to do 40 specifically tailored searches to view all the pages of the book.

This actually isn't that hard though if you just want to read the entire book online:
Step 1: Perform a specific search that returns page 1 of the book.
Step 2: Read for 2 pages (until page 3).
Step 3: Pick a unique keyphrase on page 3 and do another Google Print search for that keyphrase. This should return page 3 of the book in the Google Print search results.
Step 4: Start reading where you left off for another 2 pages, then repeat step 3 indefinitely.

You could very well read an entire book online this way, especially since most people only read a small chunks of a book at once anyway. You could read a couple pages, then "bookmark" (no pun intended) the last Google Print Search you did and carry on reading the book later.

I'm sure people will figure this out, but I wonder if it will matter?

Comments welcome!


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