Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2004 Issue

Google’s Froogle: Is It There Yet?

Innocents

Froogle finds many copies and editions of Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad.


First and foremost, Froogle is not a book listing site. It is not like Abebooks, Amazon or Alibris. It is more like AddAll, Bookfinder, or Used Book Search. These are meta search engines which search the book listing sites like Abe and Alibris and give you the combined results from all of these sites. You don’t list your books on AddAll. AddAll finds them because you listed those books on one of the 16 sites they visit. Likewise, you cannot list your books on Froogle. You can only list them somewhere else and invite Froogle to find them. That is similar to the AddAll formula. But surely Froogle, with the search technology of Google behind it, and the ability to search far more sites than sixteen, will do a better job. Again, not so fast.

There are limitations that come with Froogle’s essentially search engine technology. Remember, Froogle is a shopping site, not a book site. It is designed to find anything that’s for sale on the internet. Therefore, it can’t be specifically targeted for finding books. So, while Google may find more pages in total from the internet than just about anyone else, it does not find the most book listings. For example, Google/Froogle can only find listings that involve clicking on links. It cannot find listings that require you to type some words into a search box to find them. Now if you are a book site specific search engine like AddAll, you can design your program to take the words your visitor has entered in your search box and retype them into the search boxes of each book listing site you search. This is how AddAll finds listings on Abebooks, Alibris, and 14 other used book sites. Froogle cannot do this, since most of the sites it searches (non-book sites) don’t have author and title, etc., search boxes into which it can enter information. So, it only looks at what it can see without typing words in a search box.

It’s not that Froogle doesn’t want to find these listings. It even provides a form where you can enter listings to help it find them in case it cannot find them on its own. However, if the book site does not wish to go to the trouble of making sure its listings are compatible with Froogle’s technology, or maybe doesn’t even want Froogle to find them, then Froogle will not. This is why Froogle, which views many more sites than AddAll, does not find nearly as many listings. You can put up a site which lists 500 books, notify Froogle and conform to their requirements, and Froogle will find your books. AddAll will not find them unless you also post them on one of the sixteen sites they visit. However, since Abebooks’ 50 million listings do not conform to Froogle’s requirements, but can be searched by AddAll, that’s a 50 million books head start that AddAll has on Froogle. It would take an awful lot of small book sites to make up that difference.

Next, there is an advantage that the book listing sites have over any meta search that searches for more products than just books. The book listing sites were designed specifically for books. Froogle was not. It was designed to help sell practically everything: electronics, flowers, food, toys, car parts, sporting goods, etc., and, of course, books. Would you have a field for author or title in a book search engine? Undoubtedly. For publisher or publication date? Maybe. How about in something that also searches for flowers and food? Would you have a field for author and title? Not likely. So score one major advantage for the book sites. What Froogle can offer is essentially a keyword search. Compare that with an Abebooks or Alibris where you can narrow your search to a particular title by a particular author published in a certain year by a specific publisher. Froogle cannot do this. The only fields that can be separately searched on Froogle are product name and product description. Abebooks and Alibris allow you to search author, title, ISBN, publisher, date and keywords, or any combination of them. With Froogle it’s product name, description, or both. For a very rare title, a keyword search may be sufficient. If it’s a classic book with many later reprints, finding an early one can be very difficult with Froogle’s limitations. Interestingly, the meta book search sites are also fairly limited, offering only title, author and keywords. Evidently the different fields offered by the various book listing sites they search limit them to searching only the basic fields that all book sites offer.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.

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