Monday, October 30, 2006

Reading :: The Search

Originally posted: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 10:10:24

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

by John Battelle

This book is pretty light reading, but also quite interesting. Although the book is mainly about Google, Battelle starts far pre-Google to discuss search algorithms, Internet startups, and ad pricing structures, and he manages to do all of this quite compellingly. If you've wondered just how Google gets those results, this book provides a pretty good lay introduction. And if you are not quite sure how Google makes money off of a free service, you should definitely take a look.

On the other hand, this sort of book has a very short shelf life. Battelle's speculative chapter about the future of search seems alternately dated and oversold, and his afterword barely mentions the groundwork that Google had already laid for moving into office software for small businesses. But what he does discuss gives us an idea of how Google will continue to strategize, particularly in the small business market. Check it out if you'd like to get a quick understanding of search and what it means.

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