ENTRIES TAGGED "Google Book Search"

Selling ourselves short on search and discovery

Why don't our own websites enjoy the same content access we offer Google and Amazon?

As my O’Reilly colleague Allen Noren recently reminded me, online discovery pretty much begins and ends with search engines. Look at the analytics of any website and you’ll find the inbound traffic largely comes from Google. So what are we doing as publishers to take better advantage of that fact? What do we expose to those search engines to ensure more of the results displayed point to our websites?

Today’s search engine access is generally limited to our metadata, not full book content. As a result, books are at a disadvantage to most other forms of content online (e.g., articles, blog posts, etc.)

Here’s the big question: At what point do we expose the book’s entire contents to all the search engines? As Allen pointed out, we give all our content to Google Book Search and Amazon but that introduces middlemen. The publisher’s website doesn’t benefit from those programs. So why do we offer this privilege to Amazon and Google but our own websites don’t get the same benefit?

You might point out that Google and Amazon are able to limit reader access to that content. Even though we’ve given them the entire book they don’t let someone read it from cover to cover for free; access is limited to a certain percentage of the total work. Fair enough, but look at this bold example by Craig Mod. Keep in mind that Craig’s goal isn’t to simply let everyone read his book for free. As he puts it:

I also believe that we will sell more digital and physical copies of Art Space Tokyo by having all of the content available online. The number of inbound links to the site should increase exponentially. read.artspacetokyo.com is one of the largest collections of publicly available text about the Tokyo art world online. Organic search traffic should increase accordingly, and by having upsells on every page, the conversion to paid users should follow suit.

Craig goes on to say he’ll report the results at some point. I can’t wait. Even if his experiment doesn’t lead to a large number of paying customers there will undoubtedly be many lessons to learn from it.

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Getting Google to notice your ebook

Getting Google to notice your ebook

3 book SEO tips and why metadata and book covers matter to Google.

Matthew Gray, lead software engineer of Google Books Search Quality, discusses general signals Google uses to rank and display books. Plus: Three best practices for getting Google's attention.

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Google's Browser-Based Plan for Ebook Sales

BEA '09 may be remembered as the moment when Google formally entered the ebook market. From the New York Times: Mr. [Tom] Turvey [director of strategic partnerships at Google] said Google's program would allow consumers to read books on any device with Internet access, including mobile phones, rather than being limited to dedicated reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. "We…

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Google Opens Mobile Access to Public-Domain Books

Via a Google press release, word that visiting books.google.com/m provides mobile access to 1.5 million public-domain books from within Google Book Search: Today, we're making it possible for anyone with an Android or an iPhone to find and read more than 1.5 million public domain books in the US (more than half a million outside the US) in the…

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Magazines Now in Google Book Search

Google is adding back issues of magazines to its Book Search index. From the Official Google Blog: Try queries like [obama keynote convention], [hollywood brat pack] or [world's most challenging crossword] and you'll find magazine articles alongside books results. Magazine articles are tagged with the keyword "Magazine" on the search snippet. Over time, as we scan more articles, you'll see…

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EFF Attorney: Google Book Search Settlement Weakens Innovation

In an editorial in The Recorder, Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says Google's settlement with publishers and authors signals an implicit abandonment of Google's legal team working on behalf of innovation across Silicon Valley: .. By settling rather than taking the case all the way … Google has solved its own copyright problem — but not…

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Point-Counterpoint: On Digital Book DRM

In the first part of a point-counterpoint exchange, Peter Brantley outlines reasons why DRM is bad for book publishers.

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Slides from "What Publishers Need to Know about Digitization" Webcast

Slides from the "What Publishers Need to Know about Digitization" webcast.

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APIs, New "Transactions" and the Google Book Search Registry

At PersonaNonData, Michael Cairns discusses the Google Book Search registry, and muses whether it might support certain types of transactions through an API: How the registry may be formed is anyone's guess, but for sake of argument I envision a pyramidal structure. The identifier segment forms the pointy top layer, bibliographic data the second layer, content the third and the…

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Android Barcode App Connects to Google Book Search

Google has released a nifty Android app that permits the scanning of a book's barcode, enabling the linkage with the corresponding work in Google Book Search. From E-Reads: "Google has announced a book-text search tool called the Barcode Scanner that works with an Android-powered cellphone. According to Google Book Search engineer Jeff Breidenbach, when you download the software into your…

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