Monday, June 24, 2024

Google Is Now Indexing EPUB Files

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Google announced that it is now indexing .epub documents, a format commonly used to print books for e-readers. Google is already showing EPUB books in the search index.

EPUB File Format

EPUB is an XML-based eBook publishing format based on a standard developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum, which in 2016 was subsequently merged with the World Wide Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The goal of the merger was to bring together electronic book publishing with the Internet so that they would mutually enrich each other.

Google Indexing EBUB Content

The intent of merging e-publishing with the Internet aligns with Google’s decision to index (and at some point presumably rank) EPUB content. The only surprise should be that it took eight years to do so. The changelog notes that EPUB file format was added to Google’s documentation of indexable file types and offers no other details.

Google’s official changelog offers a matter of fact notation:

“Adding epub to indexable file types

What: Added EPUB to the list of indexable file types.

Why: Google Search now supports epub.”

Does Google Rank EPUB Content?

I did a site:search for EPUB content, noted the title of a scientific research about eating contaminated fish in Lake Ontario (“Consumption of Contaminated Lake Fish and Reproduction”) that was hosted on the journals.lww.com domain.

I next searched for that document in the regular search using the exact match keyword phrase and a variation of the keyword phrase (“Consumption of Contaminated Fish in Lake Ontario”) and Google didn’t surface the EPUB document but it did surface the webpage that contained the download to the EPUB document.

Screenshot Of EPUB Download Page

Google’s official indexable file type documentation only notes that the listed filetypes are indexable. At this time it’s fair to say that Google isn’t ranking EPUB documents but Google will surface them with a filetype:epub search.

Read Google’s official documentation:

File types indexable by Google

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Simple Line



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