Either Google Book Search Needs to Tweak Its Recommendation Engine, or There Are Furniture-Building Secrets in “Freakonomics”

That is my conclusion after seeing this Google Book Search Page for a book called How to Build Your Own Furniture. The page lists three “Related Books,” including How to Make Your Own Recreation and Hobby Rooms, How to Build Your Cabin or Modern Vacation Home, and … Freakonomics.

Huh?

I am trying to think of what may have fooled the Google recommendation engine into tossing our book in there. While it is true that I was briefly a carpenter, and often think of writing a book as a process very similar to building a house, and probably therefore rely more than the average writer on verbs like “dovetail” and “hinge” (used in a non-carpentry manner, however), I cannot figure this one out. I do think that people who are interested in any of the other three books on the page are bound to be pretty disappointed if they happen to grab the fourth.

(Hat tip: Andrew Burkett)

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  1. editorguy says:

    Unless … Google’s increasingly sophisticated search engine is considering “furniture” in a metaphorical sense, as in the detritus of the things that surround and support us in everyday life. Google in this sense is exploring the hidden side of furniture, if you will, with links to present-day Turkey behind entries for “ottoman,” for example.

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  2. editorguy says:

    Unless … Google’s increasingly sophisticated search engine is considering “furniture” in a metaphorical sense, as in the detritus of the things that surround and support us in everyday life. Google in this sense is exploring the hidden side of furniture, if you will, with links to present-day Turkey behind entries for “ottoman,” for example.

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  3. Vincent Clement says:

    I just clicked on the Google Book Search Page link and Freakonomics did not come up. Perhaps a Googler has already tweaked their recommendation engine.

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  4. Vincent Clement says:

    I just clicked on the Google Book Search Page link and Freakonomics did not come up. Perhaps a Googler has already tweaked their recommendation engine.

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  5. danilo.paiva says:

    What happens is that Google doesn’t necessarly go through the book’s content to relate it other books in order to recommend them. What it probably does (I don’t know if INSTEAD or ALSO) is check the amount of people interested in two particular books. If it manages to find enough people interested in both Freakonomics and whatever furniture book that was, you get the recommendation. Since Freakonomics is a best-seller, and has been for a while now, it makes sense that it might be errouneously recommended to other books’ readers.

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  6. danilo.paiva says:

    What happens is that Google doesn’t necessarly go through the book’s content to relate it other books in order to recommend them. What it probably does (I don’t know if INSTEAD or ALSO) is check the amount of people interested in two particular books. If it manages to find enough people interested in both Freakonomics and whatever furniture book that was, you get the recommendation. Since Freakonomics is a best-seller, and has been for a while now, it makes sense that it might be errouneously recommended to other books’ readers.

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  7. hedgehog says:

    Google seems to have an interesting algorithm for making recommendations. When I clicked on the Freakonomics recommendation, it brought up the information about the book including recommendations based on it. It recommended “Morley and Me.” I don’t recall too many dogs dying in Freakonomics.

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  8. hedgehog says:

    Google seems to have an interesting algorithm for making recommendations. When I clicked on the Freakonomics recommendation, it brought up the information about the book including recommendations based on it. It recommended “Morley and Me.” I don’t recall too many dogs dying in Freakonomics.

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