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Lots of Google Books in SERP

 12:39 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is it just me, or is anyone else noticing a significant increase in the number of google books in the serps (when not using a term even remotely related to a book)

eg. books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=

For one search I have noticed 2 listings on the first 6 pages, and 1 listing on the 7th (then I stopped clicking)

I have absolutly no interest in these books. If I was I would have searched for a book.



 4:46 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

These have been there for weeks and are increasing their density by the week.

Robert Charlton

 10:30 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is by no means to be construed as official Google policy, but when I was at the Google Dance in Mountain View about a month ago, I was talking with one of the Universal Search people about Universal results for something like "discount widgets", and one of the book search people nearby said something to the effect of: How about a book on discount widgets?

My guess is that Google would test this, see whether people clicked on the books or not, and that would suggest how prominent to make these results. I don't think, btw, that 2 listings on the first six pages is very prominent at all.


 11:16 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been noticing the Google books results--and in fact clicking on several of them every week. They are sometimes the most useful results both for searches I do as part of my job, and for searches I do for personal reasons. Even the "partial preview" of new (2001 or later) copyrighted books is sometimes enough to give an authoritative answer to my question.

The authority -- the material has been both signed by a recognizable author, and vetted by a recognizable publisher, both with real reputations to stand behind -- instantly gives these links a credibility that other websites have to work long and hard for.

Of course, real reputation cuts both ways: there are certainly many real-world authors I wouldn't trust to be able to find sunrise with a compass and alarm clock. But the fact that the reputation is out in the open, for better or for worse, and nailed down in public so that it's not hideable behind a constant succession of potentially-fly-by-night domains, is valuable to me when I'm addressing important questions.


 11:43 am on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Damn I should have put all my content into a published book years ago.

Mysite.com - volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

I see a whole new type of spam emerging. Book spam! ;-)


 2:40 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think its unfair when a SE gets in its own pages like yahoo .
Loads of yahoo results get great places . how are you supposed to compete with that ?


 6:41 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Search results don't need to be "fair" to the web businesses involved. The goal is to be something the end user is happy with. Search results are not a kind of automated contest that websites enter, although webmasters often think of it that way.

That's the point of all the universal search results that get blended in - whether it's books or shopping or video or news. And the way to compete, stated simply, is to be something that the end user likes a lot.


 8:35 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've seen a very gradual increase in referrals from Google Books. It's slowly gaining ground as a place people go to look up books. In a year or two I can see it becoming Wikipedia-like in its profile in the serps.


 9:17 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

These have been there for weeks

Weeks? Try months, this is quite old news. I'm pretty sure I posted on this a couple of months ago and someone then told me it was "old news"!

I think its unfair when a SE gets in its own pages like yahoo .

I quit using Yahoo as my personal search engine as it has just become ridiculous. Their image search is nothing but Flickr for the first 100+ pages!


 6:17 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would say they have been there for about a year in my field (sixteenth-century Genevan history). I do a lot of obscure searches where there is good coverage in older books and minimal coverage on the web.

For me, as an end user, this is the single biggest improvement in search results I've seen since the launch of Google itself. It is the first thing to truly change the way I do my research. Instead of having to do a web search, book search and scholar search for every combination of terms (maybe dozens of combos for some searches), it just gets to be a hassle. Now I do one search and if books come up, I refine in book search. If not, I keep looking on web search. It's great.

For historians (and I'm sure lots of other scholars), this is *almost* revolutionary. Because I'm often trying so many combos, I typically guess where I'm likely to get the best results and then search there. Now I can do some test searches from the web search interface and see what falls out. Great time saver and it means that sometimes when I expect to find the answer in a book, I end up finding it on a non-book web page and sometimes when I expect it to come up in a web search, i find it in a book.

I've been seeing lots of book searches coming up for a looong time. I suspect that as they see users like me, doing more obscure searches, choosing book searches with increasing frequency, they gain confidence in their book search results and nudge the dial up, so they show up in less obscure searches.

So I'm guessing that for those of you who don't spend most of your time doing searches in Old French and such, you're starting to see more and more results, but that's based on what Google has been seeing for a long time in terms of user behavior in more obscure areas.

I would also guess that if you were a molecular biologist doing searches related to your work, you would see Google Scholar results in your web search results earlier than someone searching on used car parts.

Google's stated goal is to organize the world's knowledge, but not necessarily to differentiate it by media.


 4:02 am on Sep 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> Try months, this is quite old news.

I think it was around 10-11 of June when we noticed it, as we got listed in our niche as a store on the Google Books pages.

For us, its a great leveler against Amazon.


 6:34 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a number of Public Domain novels by a rather popular author available. What I've noticed in recent weeks is that they are getting hit MORE because Google is listing the same titles...and mine are #1-2 following. More traffic for me! :)

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