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The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture Paperback – October 3, 2006
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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“John Battelle is Silicon Valley’s Bob Woodward. One of the founders of Wired magazine, he has hung around Google for so long that he has come to be as close as any outsider can to actually being an insider….The result is a highly readable account of Google’s astonishing rise.” —The Economist
“It’s a fascinating story, and Mr. Battelle… tells it well.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A surprisingly gripping story…The Search yields impressive results, pairing a reportorial eye for detail with an evangelical zeal to help readers understand the import of the search revolution.” —Wired News
“Battelle…manages to keep things compelling, adding his own trenchant analysis about what Google’s rapid evolution and powerful technology might mean for the company and our society as whole.” —The Associated Press
“A compelling glimpse of the search industry’s early years.” —BusinessWeek
“Deeply researched and nimbly reported.” —Publishers Weekly
“Indispensable.” —London Review of Books
"Battelle has written a brilliant business book, but he's also done something more... All searchers should read it." —Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute "This book ought to be called 'The Answer.' As usual, John Battelle delivers insightful, thought-provoking, and essential reading." —Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars and Purple Cow
"Nobody, and I mean nobody, has thought longer, harder, or smarter about Google and the search business than John Battelle." —John Heilemann, author of Pride Before the Fall "A must read for anyone endeavoring to understand one of the most important trends of this generation." —Mary Meeker, Managing Director, Internet Analyst, Morgan Stanley
"Battelle has... figured out why "search" is so damned important to the future of everything digital. Even more impressive, he's actually managed to turn the subject into a compelling analog story. —John Huey, editorial director, Time inc.
"A terrific book." —L. Gordon Crovitz, Dow Jones
From the Back Cover
"The Search is a superb story, well written and feverishly researched. Whether you are a student, techie, business executive, budding visionary or just enjoy pop culture, this is a book not to be missed."
"John Battelle is Silicon Valleys Bob Woodward. One of the founders of Wired magazine, he has hung around Google for so long that he has come to be as close as any outsider can to actually being an insider .The result is a highly readable account of Googles astonishing rise."
"Its a fascinating story, and Mr. Battelle tells it well."
The Wall Street Journal
"A surprisingly gripping story The Search yields impressive results, pairing a reportorial eye for detail with an evangelical zeal to help readers understand the import of the search revolution."
"Battelle manages to keep things compelling, adding his own trenchant analysis about what Googles rapid evolution and powerful technology might mean for the company and our society as whole."
The Associated Press
"A compelling glimpse of the search industrys early years."
"Deeply researched and nimbly reported."
London Review of Books
"John Battelle has written a brilliant business book, but hes also done something more: hes used the amazing saga of Google to explore what it means to search. All searchers should read it."
Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute; former editor of Time; former CEO of CNN
"Nobody, and I mean nobody, has thought longer, harder, or smarter about Google and the search business than John Battelle. If you want to understand the rise of the search economy and culture, you need to read this book."
John Heilemann, author of Pride Before the Fall
Top customer reviews
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I'm glad that I did.
I had seen Battelle on Bloomberg West and he was particularly smart and articulate. My one initial hesitation with The Search: I had already read many books about Google. (I count Ken Auletta's book among my very favorites.) Did I really need to read yet another book about Larry and Sergey's company?
But here's the rub: Battelle's book is hardly Google-specific. Rather, it's about the vast implications of being able to find an increasing amount of information within seconds, a trend that shows no signs of abating. Now, to be sure, you can't write a book about the history of search without delving into Google, but this is a book about so much more than one company. For instance, I learned a great deal about the role of Bill Gross and GoTo.com, a precursor to Google and the guy who cracked the nut on paid placements. I hadn't realized that Larry and Sergey modified Gross' central idea.
A Glimpse of What's Beyond
While I probably should have read this excellent text when it was released, in a way I'm happy that I stumbled upon it now. Sure, AOL and Yahoo! are not nearly as relevant today as they were when Battelle was hammering away on his Mac. But reading books like this years after their release allows you to assess the author's predictions ex post facto. Battelle's vision of then then-future in 2006 is, for the most part, panning out.
On a general level, my very favorite business books do the following:
* advance a big idea
* teach me something new (not that easy to do, since I read many non-fiction, business, and technology books)
* tell interesting stories
* leave me wanting more
Battelle does all of the above with considerable aplomb. The man is a gifted writer and I can't wait for his next opus.
Get. This. Book. Now.
I remember how those SEs were visciously spammed and manipulated by Search Engine "Optimizers" (SEOs.) The search results were seldom relevant and porn links prevailed. (I recall the time when my 7-year-old son searched for "Pokemon" and landed at a hardcore porn site.)
There had to be a better way.
Then, out of the blue, appeared a new search engine that changed all the rules and introduced "link popularity." Search was never the same again. Now search results are ALWAYS relevant. In fact, Google always returns exactly the sites I look for. Amazingly, it sometimes even suggests what it THINKS I'm looking for.
This book tells this story and more, in detail. Although Google is featured prominently in the book, the author discusses in depth the search industry as a whole. You'll read about how ambitious and hungry Google, the company, is and about the power it possesses over Internet users.
Very engrossing reading. Highly recommended.
Secondarily, it is interesting to read about the tremendous success story of a company born in the bubble era. VCs, deals, control freaks, CEOs as puppets. The story carries nicely throughout.
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