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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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How Many Books Are There On Earth? Google Knows

Much like search marketers may salivate over some new piece of inside SEO info that Matt Cutts (or someone else at Google) shares, some book lovers seem to be fairly excited over an Inside Google Books blog post yesterday that answers the question, How many books are there in the world?

The answer: 129,864,880 books.

Google is, of course, in the process of digitizing many of the world’s books, defending itself in lawsuits related to the scanning, and waiting for a judge’s decision about its proposed settlement in a separate lawsuit.

If you’re really into books, Google’s blog post gets all “inside baseball” about how the company determines what actually constitutes a book, and why the number changes a couple times each week. It comes across as a fairly painstaking and challenging process. But I’m not sure the idea that Google may be digitizing close to 130 million books will change the minds’ of the company’s critics.


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