Google Inc. has announced that it is working with the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford, and The New York Public Library to digitally scan books from their collections so that users worldwide can search them in Google. Google has also launched Giigle Suggest beta.
The library partnership is an expansion of the Google Print program, which is designed to assist publishers in making books and other offline information searchable online. Google is working with libraries to digitally scan books from their collections, and over time plans to integrate this content into the Google index, to make it searchable for users worldwide. Users searching with Google will see links in their search results page when there are books relevant to their query. Clicking on a title delivers a Google Print page where users can browse the full text of public domain works and brief excerpts and/or bibliographic data of copyrighted material. Library content will be displayed in keeping with copyright law.
Google has also announced the launch of Google Suggest, a new Labs project that provides users with search suggestions in real time. When a user begins to enter a term into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what the user is looking for and offers its own suggestions. For example, when a user enters "bass" Google Suggest may recommend "bass guitar" or "bass fishing," "prog" may result in "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive," and "duke" may bring up "duke university," "dukes of hazzard," "duke nukem," "duke ellington," or "duke power." The Google Suggest feature is designed to operate similarly to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for a query after a search, except that it works in real time. Google Suggest does not base its suggestions on a user's personal searches, although it does use information about the relative popularity of common searches to rank its suggestions.