Hawk's Nest

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Digging for Googleholes
Google is beginning to have a subtle, but noticeable effect on research. More and more scholarly publications are putting up their issues in PDF format, which Google indexes as though they were traditional Web pages. But almost no one is publishing entire books online in PDF form. So, when you're doing research online, Google is implicitly pushing you toward information stored in articles and away from information stored in books. Assuming this practice continues, and assuming that Google continues to grow in influence, we may find ourselves in a world where, if you want to get an idea into circulation, you're better off publishing a PDF file on the Web than landing a book deal.
This short little article exposes some of the impact of Google's methods on the information we search for. The implications in some of these areas is quite profound. I especially like the prediction that bloggers may on day rank higher in searches than the NY Times.


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