It was reported today that Google will now include magazine contents in its search index. From an AP release:
“As part of its quest to corral more content published on paper, Google Inc. has made digital copies of more than 1 million articles from magazines that hit the newsstands decades ago.”
So what does this mean for us? I would wager that we should be pressing for more integration of catalog searching via both institutional holdings but also Google indexing. Imagine if large portions of commonly held titles were available through Google. Small libraries could pay less in back log files and being to invest in new titles that they had to put on hold for that archival run of magazine articles.
OCLC announced that they would be sharing their bib records with Google. This doesn’t include all records in Worldcat but instead those records made in coordination with Google Book Search items. This link would allow users to locate items through either Google Book Search or Worldcat.org, and hopefully end up at their local library in the end. I am curious to see how much more traffic gets pushed to the library from Google.
From a BBC technology report, a study from comScore relates that Google is the most dominant search provider in the world.
Users performed more than 37 billion searches via Google, more than all the other major search engines combined.
This may seem disheartening to many in the library field, as this means that users are becoming more and more reliant on Google for their information searching needs. I tend to believe that even though this may seem shocking to some, it lights a path towards where our thoughts on library search designs should progress.
I blogged in an earlier post about Firefox extensions designed to lead a search on Amazon, or any other service utilizing ISBN’s, back to your own library holdings. This helped if your library was included in the list of accessible library catalogs, but even this didn’t help connect journal articles to library holdings. There is a Firefox extension which helps bridge that gap.
The Open URL Referrer links citations in Google Scholar, Google News, or any site containing COinS. The extension allows you to set up your full text service (SFX) and then allow the search results to link themselves to your holdings. This may seem like cheating the library, but the re-resolved link takes you into the library service point and not the direct article. To me, if the users are already in Google looking for citations, why not give them a way to jump directly into your library?
Whether we start designing our OPAC interfaces more akin to the Google way, or if we start redirecting users back from Google, the truth is that the big G isn’t going to be going away anytime soon. So why not make the best out of an estranged relation?