Google Now Indexing EPUB Format, Enhances E-Book Searchability

Google Makes a Move: Indexing of .epub Files

In an exciting development, Google proclaimed that it now has the capability to index .epub documents – a choice of format favored by many while creating e-books for digital readers. Remarkably, EPUB e-books are already gracing the search index of the technology giant.

The Essence of EPUB File Format

Ever wondered about the meaning of ‘EPUB’? EPUB stands for Electronic Publication – an ingenious, XML-based e-book publishing format. It hinges on a paradigm established by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

In an ambitious move in 2016, this Forum was merged with the ‘powwow’ of digital revolution – the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C. The culmination of these two powerhouses was aimed at aligning e-book publishing with the innately dynamic Internet. The agenda? To mutually enrich each other!

Google’s Approach Towards Indexing EPUB Content

It was inevitable that the alignment of e-publishing with Internet would reverberate with the online champion – Google. Consequently, the decision to index EPUB content was an event waiting to happen. Arguably, the only eyebrow-raiser would be the longish timeline of eight years before it did happen. To make this official, the EPUB file format was incorporated into Google’s indexable file types within its documentation, albeit sans further details.

Straightforwardness was the order of the day within Google’s official changelog:

Referencing ‘epub’ as an indexable file type.
Rationale: Google Search now accommodates ‘epub’.

Where Does EPUB Content Stand in Google’s Ranking?

A legitimate query at this point would be – does Google rank EPUB content? In an exploration of EPUB content, a very intriguing title was stumbled upon – a scientific study about the consumption of polluted fish in Lake Ontario. This EPUB file about the ‘ Consumption of Contaminated Lake Fish and Reproduction’ was hosted on the domain.

Moving forward, a customized search was initiated for this document (both using the title as well as a permutation of keywords). What was peculiar was that Google did not bring up the EPUB file but showcased the webpage from where the EPUB file could be downloaded.

So here’s a kicker – Google’s official indexable file type documentation apportions that the file types listed are purely indexable. However, it does not necessarily imply that Google ranks EPUB documents. Although, you can catch them on the results page for a ‘filetype:epub’ search.

But it does give rise to an important conversation – what about Google’s ranking strategy for .epub files? Could there be an exciting twist in the tale? That my friends, is a story for another day!

Getting excited by Google’s ever-evolving tendencies? Here is some additional reading straight from the horse’s mouth – Google’s official documentation delving into indexable file types.

So, what are your thoughts on this development from Google? Feel free to share your insights and predictions in the comments below!

Image/Photo credit: source url