Google's Dickens Doodle Gives Google Books Top Billing

Google is using its Google Doodle Tuesday to commemorate the 200th birthday of novelist Charles Dickens. While the Doodles in the past have traditionally linked to search results based on the illustration’s subject, this one does it a bit differently: top billing is given to free e-book results from the Google Books service.

Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 and over his 58 years penned some of the most well known literary works of the 19th Century. Google’s doodle is a collage of some notable characters within his books, including Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

“Our Google Books editorial team curated a collection of free and featured Dickens classics available in the Google eBookstore in Dickens’ native land (United Kingdom) and some Commonwealth countries (Canada, Australia) as well as the US”, Google eBooks Associate Ariel Levine writes in a blog post describing the doodle, and its move to promote Google Books.

It’s probably not too far fetched to assume that most Google users — save for tech enthusiasts — are likely unaware that the Mountain View, Calif. company even has a e-book service. That said, you cannot blame Google for wanting to use the Google doodle as an engine to heighten the service’s profile and generate traffic.

Google Doodle stories do extremely well for bloggers and tech news sites alike. This has a lot to do with Google user’s curiosity and clicking on the illustrations to see what it’s about. Oftentimes the news stories covering the doodles themselves make it to the first results page people see, and users do click.

That won’t be happening today: the first page is entirely results from Google Books.

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