Finding the right book: How could book store search engines better help you?


By Joe Wikert

How are publishers helping you find the perfect book? Most let you search their sites. You just type in a topic and a relevant title pops up.

This is pretty similar to how search works on Amazon. In both cases, book metadata is used to determine the best matches. So if the search phrase happens to be in a book’s title, description, etc., that title is likely to float to the top of the results.

That’s great, but why can’t publisher’s leverage the book’s contents, not simply its metadata, for the search process. Amazon’s Search Inside feature lets you do this, but only after you’ve selected a particular book.

What if you’re a publisher with a deep catalog on religion and someone is looking for the book with the most in-depth coverage of Pope Francis? Metadata-only searches can help, but the full contents are the only way to truly measure…

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