Home Google Books Just Got Better: Better Search Within Books, Embedding, & More

Google Books Just Got Better: Better Search Within Books, Embedding, & More

Google Books may be mired in controversy, but that isn’t stopping Google from regularly adding new features to the service. Today, Google Books received a major update, with seven new and useful features, including the ability to easily embed a book into a blog post, better search within books, easier access to tables of content, and a way to turn pages, as well as an improved Book Overview page.

Better Search Within Books

Maybe the two most noticeable new features are the improved search within books and the new way to turn pages. Before, searching within a book was already one of the most useful features of Google Books, but search results were only displayed in a small sidebar. Now, after this update, search results appear in their context in a list of short snippets from the text. In addition, instead of just seeing results sorted by page number, Google Books can now also sort results by relevance.

Page Turners

As for scrolling through books, a transparent bar at the bottom of the page now allows you to turn pages by just clicking the page turn button. We are not quite sure how useful this is going to be for users on a desktop machine, but this might turn out to be quite a boon for users on laptops and netbooks who don’t use an external mouse with a scroll wheel.

Embedding, Table of Contents, Nicer Book Overview Page

Embedding books is also a nice new feature (developers were able to do this with the help of Google’s APIs already), as well as the ability to access a drop-down menu with a book’s table of contents. For out-of-copyright books, the Google Books team also made the plain text mode easier to find and read.

The new layout for the Book Overview page is also quite nice. In addition to all of this, Google has now moved the sidebar with additional information about a book to the left of the page (it used to be on the right), probably in order to bring the Google Books design in line with the rest of Google’s search products.

Overall, this is a nice update for Google Books. There are no spectacular new features here, but better search within books is going to make a big difference for Google Books’ usability, and the rest of the new features are good, evolutionary updates of Google Books.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.