Amazon Unveils Full Text Searches

E-commerce superstore Amazon.com on Thursday raised
the curtains on a new “Search Inside the Book” feature that lets shoppers
preview full text of titles.

The Seattle-based Amazon.com said the new service has been tightly
integrated into the existing book search area of its home page to let
shoppers find titles based on every word inside more than 120,000 books.
The feature, which has the approval of book publishers, puts some 33 million
pages of searchable text at the disposal of Amazon.com shoppers.

The full-text search feature, which had been rumored for months, returns
an image of the page where the keyword search appears. A shopper looking for
a book about space travels can simply enter a keyword like “journey into
space” and find all books at Amazon.com that contain that phrase term in the
text.

Once the shopper clicks on the link to a specific page and logs in with
an Amazon.com user name and password, the company would allow the preview
of relevant pages and the ability to search for other terms of interest with
the book.

It is yet another attempt by online retailer Amazon.com to trump its main
rival BarnesandNoble.com in the online book sales
business.

“Innovation drives customer experience, and ‘Search Inside the Book’ is a
great example…We’re offering a completely new way for people to find the
books they want,” Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a
statement.

The release of ‘Search Inside the Book’ comes less than a month after
Amazon.com announced it would spin off a
subsidiary
to invest and develop e-commerce search technologies.

The A9 subsidiary, which has quietly set up shop in Palo Alto, Calif., is
being headed by former Amazon.com vice president and chief algorithms
officer Udi Manber. The company will officially launch at the end of October
with approximately 30 employees.

The launch of a subsidiary to create e-commerce searching technologies
puts Amazon.com in direct competition with Google’s Froogle comparison
shopping engine, a tool that lets visitors browse through the merchandise
categories, or type in a search term to see pictures of items and links to
online stores that carry them.

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