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Google option added to the search page

Recommend Site Improvements

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Mar 3, 2007, 6:08pm Top

We just added a new option to the search page: Google all of Librarything, as first suggested by AndrewB. Should help make it easier to find things in a few previously unsearchable crannies of the site. Plus, it gives us a good fallback if we're getting gobs of traffic and need to turn off our in-house search features. The timing of this is not entirely coincidental :-)

Mar 3, 2007, 6:11pm Top

It's actually damn good. As David Weinberger put it, Google is everyone's search page.

Edited: Mar 3, 2007, 6:15pm Top

Thanks for the recognition John & Tim, I wasn't aware it was on the LT team's radar :) I hope Google continues to develop their co-op project, their interface is still a bit rough but it works quite well.

As many probably know if they've followed that thread - once you've run a search, you can refine it by clicking the links under the search box.

Happy searching!

Edited: Mar 3, 2007, 6:22pm Top

Good point. Here's a graphic showing two big advantages—spelling correction and the "refinement" facets. These really make the feature.

Note that it's focused on the US site for now. Unfortunately each national site will require it's own separate search engine, with all the facets filled out again. We're holding off until we get this right.

Speaking of which, what should we add. I think we need to add "Blog" to the refinement facets.

Mar 3, 2007, 6:22pm Top


The google search shows up a nice big hole in the privacy settings. Google a user with a private library, and you find plenty of books the user has tagged.

Mar 3, 2007, 6:23pm Top

Shoot me an example on my profile, if you will.

Mar 3, 2007, 6:38pm Top

Wow - this solves the 'special characters not searchable' it seems.


Can it be tweaked to find 'other authors', too?

Mar 3, 2007, 6:48pm Top

It's not doing your own catalog very well. For starters it will dump you into a frame. (We can solve that with Javascript that basically says "if you're in this frame there's no parent," get out.)

I fixed the two places I saw the privacy leak—books recently tagged and the RSS feed for that feature.

Mar 3, 2007, 6:48pm Top

Obviously, it doesn't change the Google index right away.

Mar 3, 2007, 8:10pm Top

Thanks Tim.

No biggie if someone sees a few of my books (I'm interested in having private comments or a similar field!), but it could be a problem for someone else.

Mar 3, 2007, 9:32pm Top

Yeah, no question. To be honest, we were storing privacy in a bad ("denormalized") way that keeps breaking. I switched to a normalized way, but a lot of code needs to change. This has given me some incentive to do so.

Edited: Mar 4, 2007, 1:03am Top

You can't see the profile of private users. You could if Google had an older cache of the page, and the user were formerly public, but that would be true on Google anyway.

As for tags, I don't think it's more than the "recently tagged" (10 items, cached) and the same in RSS. Both have been fixed on the site, and you can't see them there. But you an get them from the Google cache, if you click that, until they redo the look-up. That is a hole, but it's not all. I supect it's much the minority of tags.

Ultimaely, the Google cache has the data. This has brought it to light and prompted us to remove it from the site. We can remove the Google search box if people feel strongly.

Mar 4, 2007, 1:19am Top

Yeah. Google's pulled. We'll put it back when they reindex.


Edited: Mar 4, 2007, 7:40am Top

Well Tim's email address is no secret: tim(at)librarything.com

Mar 4, 2007, 1:53am Top

Google search has been removed for now -- it wasn't working correctly with privacy settings. I'm sorry, both for those issues, and for having to yank it, but we don't want it up until it's working properly. We'll try and sort it out in a timely manner.

Mar 4, 2007, 9:52am Top

I don't think it's just recently tagged.

Just glancing at some of the results, I spotted books I'd entered on 17 October.

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