Google received some unfortunate news today, with the U.S. Department of Justice formally announcing the investigation of the $125 million settlement Google made with the Author’s Guild to pay authors a nominal fee for copyrighted works it has scanned and made available on the Web. The settlement has drawn its fair share of critics, including Jeff Bezos. But Google keeps on plugging away, making its book search better and better.
For instance, Google Books recently launched a plethora of new and innovative features to make the product easier for consumers to use, such as embeddable previews and better in-book search. Today, it added one more useful feature relating to search: a visual cue on the right margin showing the pages throughout a book where a search term appears.
When you search within a book, a page appears in a window, with a scrollbar on the right. Little rectangles will appear in the margin beside the scrollbar to show you where your results are located. When your mouse hovers over one of the rectangles indicating where a search term can be found in the book, you’ll get a preview of the search results and the option of jumping directly to that respective page by clicking on the rectangle.
With the previous search function, it wasn’t as easy to find the exact location of the results in a book. With this simple tweak, Google has improved the visual display of search functions, helping users navigate results in a more organized and efficient way. The DOJ will probably hold that against it.