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The Search: How Google & Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business & Transformed Our Culture | [John Battelle]

The Search: How Google & Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business & Transformed Our Culture

What does the world want? According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question can unlock the most intractable riddles of both business and culture. And for the past few years, that's exactly what Google has been doing.
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Publisher's Summary

What does the world want? According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question can unlock the most intractable riddles of both business and culture. And for the past few years, that's exactly what Google has been doing.

Jumping into the game long after Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, and other pioneers, Google offered a radical new approach to search, redefined the idea of viral marketing, survived the dotcom crash, and pulled off the largest and most talked about initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley.

But The Search offers much more than the inside story of Google's triumph. It's also a big-picture book about the past, present, and future of search technology, and the enormous impact it is starting to have on marketing, media, pop culture, dating, job hunting, international law, civil liberties, and just about every other sphere of human interest.

More than any of its rivals, Google has become the gateway to instant knowledge. Hundreds of millions of people use it to satisfy their wants, needs, fears, and obsessions, creating an enormous artifact that Battelle calls "the Database of Intentions". Combined with the databases of thousands of other search-driven businesses, large and small, it all adds up to a goldmine of information that powerful organizations (including the government) will want to get their hands on.

No one is better qualified to explain this entire phenomenon than Battelle, who co-founded Wired and founded The Industry Standard. Perhaps more than any other journalist, he has devoted his career to finding the holy grail of technology. And he has finally found it in search.

For anyone who wants to understand how Google really succeeded, The Search is an eye-opening and indispensable read.

©2005 John Battelle; (P)2005 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This is an excellent, thought-provoking book." (Booklist)
"John Battelle has written a brilliant business book....All searchers should read it." (Walter Isaacson)
"This book ought to be called The Answer. As usual, John Battelle delivers insightful, thought-provoking, and essential reading." (Seth Godin)
"The book is a deeply researched and nimbly reported look at how search has defined the Internet and how it will continue to be a tremendous reflection of culture." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (730 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Becca Minneapolis, MN, USA 07-07-06
    Becca Minneapolis, MN, USA 07-07-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Less than impressed"

    For anyone who has any web-design/SEO experience, this is mostly stuff you already know... History of the internet and search engines... How Google Page Rank and other search engines determine relevance... etc. On the whole I found it too boring for the average listener and not deep enough for those of us who have technical experience with these technologies.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Busse 11-07-11
    Matt Busse 11-07-11
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    "Very intesting recent history of the Internet"

    Battelle's book provides a very interesting history of Google and it's predecessor technologies for searching and navigating the Internet. A good read for anyone interested in a general understanding of the landscape of the Internet. Battelle is not the best reader, he probably should have let a professional handle it...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Davis Abingdon, MD, USA 12-30-06
    Davis Abingdon, MD, USA 12-30-06
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    "Insightful and Interesting"

    When I'm highly interested in a movie or book, the ending seems to come much sooner than I expect. This is how I felt at the end of this 10 hour audiotape. The best narrators of audiobooks are usually the authors themselves and this is true in this case. The narrator made this seemingly mundane subject, Search, into a very interesting and insightful look into the history of Internet Searching. Yes, Google is the focal point, but the author also discussed the inner workings of such influental companies as Yahoo! and Overture. My only reservations about Search is its long-winded argument against the Patriot Act. The author seems to believe that if the Patriot Act is not repealed, then the U.S. will be turned into a police state. I would have given this audiobook a maximum rating if the narrator didn't rant for 20 minutes about Big Brother.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen west pymble, Australia 11-19-06
    Stephen west pymble, Australia 11-19-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Easy Listen"

    I really enjoyed this audio book, in terms of understanding the history of search and the potential future. I also got some good little bits of wisdom. All in all a good book one of the better ones I have heard, I think anybody in the tech industry will enjoy this

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uri San Diego, CA, USA 07-22-06
    Uri San Diego, CA, USA 07-22-06
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    "Low content/length ratio. Poorly read (by author)"

    There are some nuggets of interesting info. in the book, but they are not worth the endless blah blah blah.

    The contents of the book would make for a good 1-2 hour presentation (as long as somebody else reads it!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Ladue, MO, USA 06-22-06
    Richard Ladue, MO, USA 06-22-06
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    "What Search means to you"

    This book really opens your eyes to what Search may do in the coming decade to revolutionize our lives, and brings meaning to the phenomenon of a company growing from nothing to a huge power on the world scene. I would recommend it to anyone with any interest in the Internet, or in information systems. Although I was certainly aware of Google before reading this book, and used search frequently, after reading it I have a much greater appreciation in the possabilities of search, and what can be accomplished by advances in this technology.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Chapel Hill, NC, United States 10-15-07
    Neil Chapel Hill, NC, United States 10-15-07 Member Since 2010
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    "now a Battelle fan"

    This is a great book written by a very knowledgeable author. A must read for anyone in the web marketing biz if you ask me. I bought the audio version, and am now buying the hard copy just to use as a reference. Currently listening to it for a second time.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Fairfax, VA, USA 11-16-06
    Joseph Fairfax, VA, USA 11-16-06 Member Since 2007
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    "Dry Narration"

    This seems like such an important book. It's a shame that I can't bear listening to the monotone narration. Maybe I will buy the book, I don't know.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emilie Hoorn, Netherlands 06-09-13
    Emilie Hoorn, Netherlands 06-09-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Really good book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes - it's interesting and engaging.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    well told, well composed, good combination of history, culture and search facts.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    the fantastic future of search


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-07-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-07-13 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

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    "History or search and its possible future"

    Search gives a good history of the early players in search including offerings such as Veronica, Web Crawler, GoTo, AltaVista and others and pointed out where they stumbled along the way and lead to MSN, Yahoo, and today's dominance of Google. It reviews the key pieces of search including the link crawlers, the indexer, analyzing the indexes from and back to a page, and the secret sauce of each offering in its algorithms that determine what results are returned. The first third of the book covered the pre-Google days and the last two thirds mainly dealt with Google with a brief peek at the end of what the future could become.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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