Earlier this month Bing added a new book carousel feature to their search results and Google has now done the same by adding a new book carousel that displays at the top of the search results when users click on a carousel link from a book related knowledge graph. They have also redesigned and added some features to book related knowledge graphs.
Here is the knowledge graph for searching for a book title on Google.ca
One thing that sticks out is that on Google.ca it also includes Amazon as an option, and as the top result, with Barnes & Noble and GoodReads underneath. However, on Google.com or Google.co.uk, Amazon is not listed.
It is worth noting that a link to Amazon.com is the first organic result, however they aren’t included in the Google.com knowledge graph, only the Google.ca one. This could be because Amazon.com does not display ratings in their search results, while Amazon.ca does.
These review links are not labeled as sponsored, despite both Barnes & Noble and Amazon being clearly commercial, so they are very different from Google Shopping or AdWords ads – in other words, Google is presumably not being paid to place those links. And while the links are there specifically because ratings are displayed within the knowledge graph, you can follow any of the links to purchase the book.
Interestingly, for book related knowledge graphs that do have Google Shopping links above, the knowledge graph does not include a link to any of those three sites for ratings. For example:
Here is what the book knowledge graph looked like previously, courtesy of State of Digital. There were no review links or Google Shopping links, and the “people also searched for” looked quite different.
The “people also search for” at the bottom of the book knowledge graph has been redesigned (and has been redesigned for non-book related searches as well). Previously it was simply thumbnails of book titles, while now they are definitely stylized to be more aesthetically pleasing with book covers being offset.
The new carousel that has been added doesn’t seem to come up for regular searches – even the types of searches that are similar to the ones that Bing recently did with their best selling book carousels. It only comes up after interaction with the knowledge graph.
This actually isn’t the first time we’ve seen the carousel from Google related to books. When they celebrated Bram Stoker’s 165th birthday in 2012 with a Google Doodle, they added a carousel to the top, although it was stylized much differently from the current black background we see today. This carousel looks very similar to the local carousel that was being discontinued.
As a bonus for SEOs, if you do your own search for One Second After, and click the Goodreads link in the knowledge graph, you can find the review Matt Cutts wrote for the book.
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