From Publishers Weekly
Do Americans really spend that much time surfing porn sites? Which demographic visited Anna Nicole Smith's Web site most frequently? Who reads Perez Hilton? More than mere trivia nuggets, the answers to these questions define online behaviors among a varied mix of Internet users. Tancer, who leads global research at Hitwise, an online market research company, guides the reader through the search patterns among 10 million Internet users, challenging myths and making new discoveries about the psychology of consumers, illustrating that clicks speak louder than words and can reveal unspoken truths about individual drives that are not expressed via other forms of media. Everyone from marketing managers who want to know how much power social networking sites wield in the online market to political pollsters trying to decipher the disconnect between exit polls and election results would be advised to heed his research. Witty and invaluable in its insights, this book is destined to become a primer for online marketers and usability experts while shedding new light on the mindset and curiosities of the average Web surfer, i.e., your friends and neighbors. (Sept.)
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Tancer, a search-engine data miner, takes a look at our culture by evaluating the millions of search queries on the Internet. He crunches the numbers to quantify our desires, our fears, our quest for knowledge, and our aspirations. From porn to prom dresses to politics, the content of our search queries reveals much about our private thoughts that we would not reveal to loved ones, friends, or a stranger taking a survey. His lists include the top “fear of” searches; fear of intimacy and fear of rejection were ranked high, while the fear of public speaking, usually sited as number one, came in at number nine. “How to tie a tie” just beat out “how to have sex” in the how-to category, with “how to levitate” clocking in at number six! For businesses, searches can reveal surprising information that dispels assumptions about customer behavior, such as the seasonality of clothing purchases. Tancer brings humor, clarity, and insight to the trends that are revealed by the ways we seek out and consume information on the Internet. --David Siegfried