Google’s “Related Links” as a library’s “Find More Items Like This”?

On Thursday, Google announced a new service in the labs: Related Links

Last week, we quietly rolled out Google Related Links, which lets you display a unit of useful links on your web site related to your site’s content, including relevant news, searches, and web pages. It is a great way to add fresh, dynamic content to your web site, and it is amazingly easy to use.

It’s pretty cool. They give you a piece of JavaScript (if you view the source of this page from the dltj website you’ll see it included near the very bottom of the code) to add to your page. When the browser renders the page, you get an insert from Google with suggested web pages, search query strings, and/or news items. You’ll see such an insert at the bottom of this page. (Once again, you won’t see it through the RSS feed — you’ll need to actually come to the web site to see it.)

So here’s what I’m thinking — what if this was added to an OPAC bibliographic record display? Google is scanning the source of the page looking for keywords, so pulling out all of the basic bib data should provide a pretty good source for finding relevant pages. (Probably better than your average blog post, for instance.) This could be particularly useful if “Google Scholar” could be singled out as the source for the web links. (At least that would be more useful for the academic libraries among us…)

I don’t have an OPAC to play with — changes to the OhioLINK Central Catalog display would need to go through at least two statewide committees for approval. If someone tries this, could you report back a web address and the relative success of the effort?

(This post was updated on 22-Aug-2012.)