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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.