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.
"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)
I read this book back in 2006 just after graduating with my marketing degree and starting my career as a search marketing consultant. I can't tell you how many times I have quoted this book while explaining search marketing to my clients. If you want a quick history lesson on how the Internet grew into the dominate media we know today then pick this book up. Must read for anyone in marketing today.
It's a must read for anyone interested in learning more about the Google and how the internet economy works. Many people take for granted our ability to punch a few words into Google and get useful information on just about anything. The book covers the fascinating early history of Search from the early days of AltaVista to the Google and Bing. How does the Google search process work? How does search advertising work? What do companies do to get their info at the top of the Google search? It is also a personal story about the entrepreneurs who created the services that make the internet useful and profitable. It manages to do all this while reading like a fast paced novel. Great for a long trip -- you will not want to stop listening.
Great summary of how Yahoo, Google etc. came about. How did 'search' develop, and what does it meant us the consumer, as well as them, the industry that wants to sell us their stuff. After reading it I am quite astonished that I find snippets and news items relating to the hypotheses of this book pretty much on a daily basis. I wondered at times if it was already (out)dated, but it is still worth reading. The author as narrator does a surprisingly great job, and gives us a good idea about the person and the researcher behind the book.
Excellent telling of the history of search engines and the business they have become.
I would recommend listening to 'The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You' by Eli Pariser after this book to bring the listener up to date on where Search is currently at and where it is headed.
I wish Audible would provide a better product. I continually have to go back and try to find my place to listen. Audible apparently disables the ability to burn a book to even one disk so I can listen to it. The iPod just doesn't do well on audiobooks (probably unless you buy them from Apple). It is impossible to get a book burned to CD so I can listen to it and it never plays right on the iPod.
Excellent reseach and story telling. It kept my interest all the way through. He was very well organized and kept the story line relevant. I wish I had listened to it/read it long ago.
In the past collecting information about individuals has always been in the domain of government organisations, one of the points the book makes is that today this information is being collected in a very different manner because we as users see the value in using services believing that we are not making an personal sacrifices. The book outlines the enormity of the scope of the information being collected and how this data if it lands into the wrong hands may affect us in ways we could have never imagined.
An excellent account of the development of the search technology that transformed the internet into our primary research and marketing platform. At times this account gets into the geek weeds, but only to provide a meaningful explanation for why things turned out as they did. Not a history of Google, but of necessity it is heavily focused on Google. The descriptions of the key players, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, appear balanced and carefully researched or based on personal knowledge of the author.
This gives you a good background to the development of google, the author is obviously quite impressed. His voice isn't the most inspiring, but the story is good and kept me interested until the end.
The book gave me a good perspective on the "Search" industry. Well written stories and settings. The language was strong in a couple sections, other than that, good read.
The most comprehensive info on the search industry. Tells you the entire history all the way to the current undisputted king; Google and also the future ahead.
"A bit outdated but still fascinating"
If you're like me you probably use a search engine numerous times a day without really thinking about it. Yet they are such an important part of the Internet - a gateway to all the content out there on the web.
This is a fascinating history of search engines, from the early days through to about 2005. It is a bit outdated now as things in the search engine world, just as with the rest of the Internet, change and develop constantly. However, this is a minor niggle with what is otherwise an excellent book.
It focusses inevitably on Google, but is by no means exclusively about Google. It's amazing to think that only 10 or 15 years ago the Internet as we know it was in its infancy. The book goes back to the very first search engines and traces the rise and fall of some sites you will have heard of and some you may well not have.
It also takes a look at the future of search, much of which is still relevant despite the date of the book, and puts search in a wider context, referencing events such as the Dot Com bubble.
It's well written and well read throughout. The author has clearly been paying close attention to the evolution of search since early on and has spoken to many of the key people involved at various times during the period covered by the book.
Very much recommended.
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