Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

What is Google Print?

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Since a lot of the world's information isn't yet online, we're helping to get it there. Google Print puts the content of books where you can find it most easily; right in Google search results.

To use Google Print, just do searches on Google as you normally would. Whenever a book contains content that matches your search terms, we'll show links to that book in your search results. Click on the book title and you'll go to a "content page," where you can see the page containing your search terms and other information about the book. You can also search for other topics within the book. Click on the "Buy this Book" link and you'll go straight to a bookstore selling the book online.
If you're a book publisher and you'd like to have your books included in Google search results, look into the Google Print program for publishers.

Holy shit. Watch out Amazon, here they come!

via danah

UPDATE: It appears that people have known about this since last year and it has been on and off in test mode, but the official announcement was Oct 6th.


Neat! It got me this.

With the content being served in response to a query, this could be a bad thing for reference books. (More so than Amazon, who serve up a few pages that the user didn't pick.)

But then again, the web in general is bad news for a lot of reference books,

Yes, Amazon should watch out, but the search engine wars are just heating up. Wait till all the big boys start competing for the desktop search market.


According to the New York Times it has been up since last December in a first beta version. But the preview feature with scanned images has gone online in the past days.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page deny that this is an attack on Amazon but even a blind person could spot this as a new avenue of the search engine wars.

Apart from this I'd like to remind you that there has been a project at Google codenamed 'Project Ocean' - The goal was to put the vast archives of the Library of the Stanford University ( hint-hint: The beginnings of Google) online - at least those which are no longer covered by copyrights and incorporate them into the Google Index. I bet that we will see something of that sort within the next months. Does anyone disagree?

Another thing I'd like to stress is that they will have a hard time to prevent someone from viewing the complete book because they limit the number of pageviews to 20% of the complete book according to their FAQ. If you find four other guys who are willed to help you in obtaining a full copy you will succeed - Or is this theory flawed? Opinions are welcome.

I take back the part of the 'complete book fetching'-idea for they seem to have implemented a few caveats into their algorithms. Never underestimate the power of Google Engineers :-)

It's a shame that this service is built around exploiting security vulnerabilities in major browsers and executing an attack against Google's users.

For a small publisher like myself, this is a no-brainer. One of the big costs in traditional publishing is promotion. Google is offering me free access to potential customers while not giving away the store. This is a classic example of the Debbie Fields marketing model. And it does not seem to require much work on this end while providing an additon stream of revenues we were looking to tap anyway (click through advertising). As for "browser wars" with Amazon, I don't think so. It's simply another marketing channel, and the more of those you have, the more people know about your offerings and will buy them. It's win-win, not zero-sum. In fact this is exactly what electronic publishing needs to become a viable means of distribution. BUt it still won't replace print as the primary means of distributing information.

SearchEngineWatch has a good article on Google Print, including a link to a workaround for searching just Google Print content.

Other cool articles to check out from what it was first discovered:


John Robb suggesting some additional services as well

The inevitable Metafilter post

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Google mot Amazon from Espen Andersens eksperimentelle weblogg
October 8, 2004 6:58 PM

(Via Joi Ito, som er en stadig kilde til interessante sites): Google Print er neste omdreining p Read More