Has Google Book Search slowed down?

A couple of months ago Philipp Lennsen, on his Google Blogoscoped, reported that Google Book Search returned results in almost no time at all: zero-point-zero-zero seconds, which is very fast even if it really is taking ‘0.002’ seconds or something which gets rounded down to zero. This blog post got me wondering and it produced some interesting and amusing comments.

To my surprise, Google Book Search has now slowed down quite a bit. As Alex Ionut emphasised, back in December 2006, any Google Book Search was coming back in ‘0.00’ seconds. Today searches on Google Book Search are only a little bit faster and sometimes slower than the same search on Google Web search.

Mind you Google Book Search is still amazingly fast. It takes 0.05 seconds to find the 13 occurrences of the phrase “bliss was it that dawn” in the million odd books that Google may now have scanned, and on the web Google this morning found me 34 occurrences in 0.04 seconds. Does it matter if Google Book Search has slowed down a bit? Would it be better if Google Book Search really was blindingly fast, faster than web search?

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