A Google Encore — Late Yesterday

We told you about the keynote presentation yesterday by Cathy Gordon, of Google.

Cathy reappeared during the NFAIS business meeting last evening, along with John Lewis Needham (Strategic Partner Development Manager, Google), to discuss some specific recent Google product launches with the publishers and vendors assembled here.

Up for open discussion were Google Print, Google Libraries, and Google Scholar.

Quick review:

* Google Print involves Google working with publishers to make their books searchable on the public engine; and the Google representatives described it as an initiative to help publishers market their books. Users see a page or two free. Google refers the users to a place to buy the book.

* Google Libraries is the project that Google has going with five libraries (Stanford, New York Public, Harvard, U of Michigan and Oxford) to digitize the books in their collections. The Google reps. reminded publishers that copyright status of a work will determine how much of a scanned book from one of these collections will be displayed.

* Google Scholar “attempts to allow people to search across scholarly content,
10s of millions of items from those publishers who have allowed crawlers to index their full text.” If full-text is available, they explained, the publisher’s version will be the default link. If no text is available, then the default will be to link users to the results of Web search for the document.

The way Google described each of these things, they were all about ramping the discovery and use of materials that otherwise may be hidden behind firewalls and increasing traffic for publishers’ materials.

It wasn’t entirely clear, upon questioning, how A&I databases might fit into the Google model, but delegates to the conference were urged to think about how their materials might be of use and interest to a wider market.

Google itself, they said, doesn’t really think about how they will monetize content in advance. There’s no advertising associated now with any of the three new services (well except for pass thru to full-texts and book buying opportunities).
“In the long run, content,” said Gordon, “gets monetized. Scholar is a long way from being a finished product. We don’t want to burden it with advertising.”

Dick Kaser
ITI, VP, Content

Comments are closed.