homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Search Engines / Alternative Search Engines
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: bakedjake

Alternative Search Engines Forum

Amazon launches "search inside the book"

 12:55 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Apparently, this NYtimes story [query.nytimes.com] (full text) [iub.edu] from July was true!
Amazon is now going to allow people to search across most book content (33 million pages).
Talk about some serious market power!

Seach Inside The Book (how it works, from Amazon.com) [amazon.com]

"official" Amazon annoucement letter [g-images.amazon.com]



 2:21 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

press coverage:
cnet [news.com.com]
JupiterMedia [atnewyork.com]
SeatleTimes [seattletimes.nwsource.com]

michael heraghty

 2:43 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, I too am stunned that the NYTimes article has turned out to be entirely accurate, and that Amazon have unveiled the service so quickly.

For a great article that explains how Amazon got around the logistical and copyright issues etc., see Wired news (which broke the story):



 2:45 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

This will be great when I have kids - it used to take me forever to find swear words in library books.


 2:50 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

That print link doesn't seem to work for me but this does, thanks:


 6:32 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

wow, awesome!


 2:11 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

The question is, will anyone ever be able to compete with this? They will definitely have a monopoly with this ability for awhile.


 3:09 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some more posts in [webmasterworld.com...]

michael heraghty

 2:32 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

amznvibe -- yes, they may have a monopoly on this for a while. But if you noticed in the Wired article, there are a couple of similar initiatives underway out there -- particularly relating to books that are already in the public domain.

It's also interesting that the way Amazon are getting around the copyright issue is by showing searchers *images* of the pages, rather than returning text per se, and by restricting a searcher, so that he/she will be able to see only 20% (or something like that) of any one book. (This later part I'm sure could be hacked around quite easily though. After all, how will they identify unique users? Cookies? Session IDs? Nothing that can't be bypassed quite easily...)


 3:36 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

If one user can see 20% of a book, how long do you think it will take for 'book clubs' to form, where 5+ people will print/download/copy their subsection of the book?

I'll be surprised if this new offering by Amazon doesn't hit a wall quickly.


 2:57 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

They have already hit a legal snag. Apparently the publishers can't just decide to allow the content to be indexed, they need authors' permissions in some cases:


I think it's going to be like Google's usenet search, people are going to have to be allowed to remove their content from the database.


 11:49 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Holy moly, teaming up to print out GIFs of a book to read would be truly sad-- the worst print quality, hours and hours of paging through and printing, etc. I don't see that becoming a major issue.

I would imagine they'd have to let people take themselves out, but the vast majority will stay and enjoy the benefits.


 2:32 am on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some of you should go to Amazon and start searching for some books. They have built this into the general search tool (instead of having a separate "search inside the book" option). The best search tools return the most relevant results first. What is happening is that thousands of low relevance results are being returned, confusing buyers. Dealers who sell used merchandise on the site are complaining of resulting low sales.


 2:57 am on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's only going to take them a little time to enhance the search ability. The point is that they have access to an incredible database that no one else has access to (and by some accounts they shouldn't have access to either).

Remember they are building A9 now, so they definitely have some search engine programmers/scientists around and I would imagine they will put them to work on the text search after they get their shopping engine online. It only seems logical for them to enhance their assets.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Search Engines / Alternative Search Engines
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved