Earlier this week, Google unveiled a new feature of its book search service that may have useful applications for the publishing industry. According to CNet News, the feature will allow online retailers to embed preview pages of books on their websites, in a manner similar to Amazon’s “search inside” feature.
When you’re viewing an indexed title [that has been embedded on a retailer’s site] you’ll see a Google preview link that lets you peruse the innards of the book without leaving the sale page. According to a post on Google’s Book Search blog, larger retailers including Powell’s Books, Borders, and Buy.com will be [adding the feature] “in the coming weeks.”
[Amazon’s] “search inside” feature is essentially the same, although limited to titles within its catalog. […] Back in 2006, [Amazon and Google] traded legal blows due to the suspicion that Google’s book search program was leading towards this functionality.