Google Book Search driving surfers to booksellers

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Google Book Search driving surfers to booksellers

Google's controversial Book Search is driving traffic to booksellers, new figures show.

Google's controversial Book Search is driving traffic to booksellers, new figures show. 

According to Web monitoring firm Hitwise, the top destination for surfers visiting Google's UK Book Search was Amazon UK, accounting for 8.3 percent of visits. 

Book sites accounted for 15.93 per cent of all sites visited from the Google Book Search page last week.

WH Smith was the second most popular destination with 2.08 per cent of visits, followed by Amazon.com with 1.38 per cent.

Surfers over 55 accounted for a quarter of all visitors to Google Book Search in the past four weeks. Over 55s are 69 per cent more likely to use the site than the average UK internet population, according to Hitwise.

Using data from Experian, Hitwise was able to identify the Mosaic demographic profile for website visitors.

The most likely surfers to search for books were low income elderly people, university students and the very elderly of independent means. 

"Whilst the debate will rage on, a better understanding of the audience and their behaviours may help ease some of the concerns among book retailers and publishers," Heather Hopkins wrote on the Hitwise Analyst blog.

Google was sued by the US Authors Guild in September last year, accused of widespread copyright infringement at the expense of the rights of individual writers. 

In June this year French publisher La Martinière Groupe filed a lawsuit against the search giant, alleging that Google Books amounts to "counterfeiting " and "breach of intellectual property rights".

The publisher demanded damages of €100,000 for each scanned book.
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