Review of John Battelle's The Search

Sep 14th

The Search is a book by John Battelle about the history of search, and how search will interface with and change society. If you are a search geek it's a great read and there is a zero percent chance for you to dislike the book.

Although the book does not focus on SEO, reading it helps you see search through it's history and think about many SEO concepts. John believes clickstream data & user feedback will eventually replace modern link based search relevancy algorithms. There are a number of great quotes and fun parts to the book, such as:

  • When Larry met Sergey (p. 68)

  • When they both told Eric Schmidt he was totally hosed (p. 135)
  • Where "don't be evil" came from (p. 138)

The Search talks about the underlying business models driving search (where it began, where Overture went wrong, & how Google trumped them) right up to some of the deep political and social concerns associated with search.

While the book's logo looks similar to Google's trademark dress it was refreshing to see that John did not hesitative to talk about some of the negative (or evil) sides of search, including:

I think it would have been cool if John would have talked to a few more SEOs, but the book is killer. Well worth a read.

Published: September 14, 2005

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