November 2, 2010
How Google Searches the Books Database
There's an article on The Atlantic web site that offers a bit on insight into how Google creates a result set for searches in Google Books. The method is different from the standard Google web search where all kinds of related information is used to determine the ranking of results. Books, as the article notes, are in most situations, unrelated to each other. So there is a new method:
They now take into account web search frequency, recent book sales, the number of libraries that hold the title, and how often an older book has been reprinted.
So says Alexis Madrigal in his article, Inside the Google Book Algorithm. Other fun facts worth mentioning is the Google Book collection numbers some 15 million. Compared to most libraries, that's a huge amount. On the other hand, given how many books have been published in the history of the world, Google has a long way to go, copyright law notwithstanding. [MG]