Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where readers buy their ebooks? Week 2 of our Google's search experiment

Last week we started an ebook experiment. Like all experiment, it begins with a question: Where will readers look to buy their ebooks? Following the launch of Google eBookstore, its relationships with independent bookstores and Amazon's reply, the competition between ebook retailers is getting fierce.

Our assumption is that many readers will look for ebooks using a search engine and will buy from one of the first results in their search. So we randomly chose 10 books of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2010, opened Google webpage, typed each title with the word ebook and wrote down the first two results we got. We will redo it every Thursday for 10 weeks and see if there are going to be any changes in the search results.

Here are the results for week 2. In brackets you'll see the first week results. If they were the same we just wrote 'same'. And if you click on the titles, you will be forwarded to the first place on the title's search):

1. Girl by the Road at Night by David Rabe
1st place: Simon & Schuster (same)
2nd place: Simon & Schuster (same)

2. The Long Song by Andrea Levy
1st place: (same)
2nd place: (same)

3. The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie
1st place: (same)
2nd place: (same)

4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
1st place: (same)
2nd place: Barnes & Noble (Random House)

5. Big Girls Don't Cry by Rebecca Traister
1st place: Simon & Schuster (same)
2nd place: Simon & Schuster (same)

6. The Price of Altruism by Oren Harman
1st place: (same)
2nd place: (same)

7. INSECTOPEDIA by Hugh Raffles
1st place: (same)
2nd place: Random House (same)

8. Country Driving by Peter Hessler
1st place: Barnes & Noble (same)
2nd place: (goodreads)

9. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
1st place: Random House (same)
2nd place: Barnes & Noble (same)

10. Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens
1st place: (same)
2nd place: Barnes & Noble (same)

As you can see this week was quite boring with almost no changes. This is not a good news for Google eBookstore that is still out of the list (although we have to say we see a growing presence of Google in lower ranks).

Here's the summary of the results:

Amazon B&N Google Publishers Others

1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
week 1 6 3 1 2

3 4
week2 6 4 1 3

3 3

We give 2 points for 1st place and 1 point for 2nd place:

Amazon B&N Google Publishers Others
week 1 15 4 0 10 1
week 2 16 5 0 9 0

As you can see Amazon and B&N are gaining strength, while the publishers lost a little bit, although they are still doing better than B&N. Borders? Nada. Google? Nada. Independent bookstores? Nada.

So far no big surprises so far, but let's see how things will move forward in the next couple of weeks. We still wait for Google to show us what it can do - after all, its Google's search engine..See you next Thursday!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

1 comment:

Modernesia said...

When I search for a book, I usually go straight to either Amazon, B&N, Borders, or wherever; I never check one place. Moreover, I check for the availability as well as the best price. Some folks may rely on a simplistic search through Bing, Yahoo, or Google, but dedicated readers know where to go for ebooks.

I recently purchased an ebook from Google, and I actually love the way it is displayed, both on my computer as well as my phone. I would not rule Google out just yet.