Thursday, October 2, 2008

Google: back then, in SFX statistics now, and in federated searching in the future

Ghost of Google's past

First some fun: Google in celebrating its 10th birthday has released its oldest available index (January 2001) - of course there's a ton of broken links, but the there are alternative links to the content through the Internet Archive.

I did the obligatory vanity search and found the first thing I ever marked up in html (using VI back when it was really ugly). The I tried "twin towers" 911 and got some vacation apartments and one eerily prescient entry from Google Directories:

Business Contingency -
Few businesses survive an interruption that lasts for more than 10 days. Two thirds of the businesses in the NYC twin towers did not recover. Will you?

Google in our SFX stats

September was something of a red letter month for Google Scholar. For the first time it became the biggest source of SFX requests, and simultaneously for the first time became the biggest source of SFX requests from X Search (Metalib) after the Expanded Academic Index.

The rise of Google Scholar tells us something about our users, and their desire for a simplified search. We have never 'championed' Google Scholar, although I know some liaison librarians will show it to students. Our only acknowledgement that it exists is a oneliner in a relatively 'deep' page, and, I think, the instructions for accessing SFX in Scholar from off campus are in an externally hosted blog that you can't find using our search engine. In spite of all this it is the most popular route clients have to our esubscription content.

Future of Google Scholar in Federated Searching

Serials Solutions announced last week that Google Scholar was no longer available for federated searching through 360 Link because it's not allowed in the Terms Of Use. SS founder Peter McCracken has blogged the change and its implications that makes for interesting reading. The support site was succinct:
Google's Terms of Use state that any federated search engine, such as 360 Search or WebFeat, is not allowed to display results from Google properties. In order to satisfy Google's terms, Serials Solutions will be terminating any connections to Google content in both 360 Search and WebFeat, effective immediately. If you would still like to include Google in your federated search interface, please send a request to Support to have it added as a "link-only resource" -- meaning that there will still be a link to the Google native search in your interface, but Google results will no longer be included in the federated search results.

For more information about Google's Terms of Use please visit: The specifics can be found in section 5.3.


Helen H said...

Hi Alan, what does this mean? Will our users still be able to link to our ejournals when using Google Scholar from on and off campus?

Alan @JCU Library said...

Hi Helen

Our embedded link resolver in the Google Scholar native interface is not affected by this. i.e. we will still have a 'Find It @ JCU Library' link in Google Scholar's native interface.

Google's Terms Of Use only prevent federated searching (Metalib now, 360 Search soon) so it can't be searched simultaneously with other databases and have its result set merged and deduplicated with other database result sets. We can still do a search and 'link to results in native interface.'