September 29th, 2005


Google is good, but not THAT good...

According to The Mining of the Invisible Web at,
Meanwhile Google is creating a comprehensive bibliographic database that it calls WorldCat to search for and find information formerly only found in libraries.
Wow-- talk about gross misunderstandings that could've been corrected by a 2 second Google search. -grin-

One of my job duties is to add new records to WorldCat as needed, and I most certainly do not work for Google. (Our lunch room isn't nearly as nifty as Google's, we don't get stock options, and my library generally isn't nearly important enough to draw truly famous guest lecturers.) In fact, the electronic database that became WorldCat was started back in the late 1960s (I believe before Google's founders were born), and a library adds a new record to the database every 10 seconds on average. Google is adding... none; they aren't contributing members to WorldCat. What they're doing instead is indexing the authors and titles (and a few other fields, I think) of most or all records in WorldCat and including those results with Google search results, so that searchers are not just pointed to websites, they are also pointed to libraries who own potentially relevant books.

(I suspect the article author mentally conflated the Google Scholar and Google Print programs with WorldCat, since they also involve information found chiefly in libraries. Those have nothing to do with WorldCat, though.)

Feudalism: Serf & Turf