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The Search Audiobook

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

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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 (765 )
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3.9 (193 )
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3.9 (193 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-17-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    "interesting in some places, boring in others"

    this book wise interest in some places. It was boring and dull in others. I'm not sure I'm glad i read it. But such is life!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-07-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-07-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Dennis New York, NY, United States 10-13-12
    Dennis New York, NY, United States 10-13-12
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    Story
    "The History of Search Marketing"
    What made the experience of listening to The Search the most enjoyable?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viviane 06-18-12
    Viviane 06-18-12
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    "From history to future"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt B 11-07-11
    Matt B 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...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed POINT COOK, Australia 10-30-10
    Ed POINT COOK, Australia 10-30-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Very insightful"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pekka 11-13-09
    Pekka 11-13-09
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    "Excellent!"

    I thought this was just another book on Google. It has the Google story of course but much more. Very well written (and read) book about search engines, with the emphasis on how they affect business and our way of life. Also introduces the key technical concepts but you don't need to know about IT to read this book. The Google stuff was also great because the writer tells the positives and the negatives in a way that sounds quite objective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lex TaipeiTaiwan 02-17-08
    Lex TaipeiTaiwan 02-17-08
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
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    "data of intent"

    This book is not about Google eventhough the search action is synonymous with Google which truely is a "cultural revolution". The book's concept of "Data of Intent" is really the crux of this digital revolution. I highly recommend this book since it shows the future of this revolution and clearly demonstate its exploding consequences if we cannot fully manage it. I really enjoy it as it brings to my attention the consequence of the post internet bubble and that there is something powerful left standing after the fall out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil 6309 Zumirez Dr Malibu CA 90265 10-15-07
    Neil 6309 Zumirez Dr Malibu CA 90265 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 08-19-07
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 08-19-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent"

    I have listed to both this title and "The Google Story". Both are good, but this one is better. I would recommend listing to this one first and the other second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tom
    StockportUnited Kingdom
    5/14/10
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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