Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Review of John Battelle's The Search

Tech, Book Review: I just started reading a great book about the recent history of search by John Battelle. Battelle has interesting things to say; I follow his blog BattelleMedia quite regularly. Since I build search engines for a living, I find the topic pretty apropos, but I think the book should be of interest to anyone interested in how a search engine works, how they came to be, and more importantly, why they're such a big deal -- amongst other impacts: altering humanity and its social and economic interactions. Though the book is about much more than Google, Battelle does dig into a lot of nitty gritty about the rise of Google, and how Ad Sense and Ad Words was the fundamental/intimate connection to cash the business/ad world was seeking back during the late 90s Internet hay day. He also proposes a bit of a theory about how they ripped the idea off of Overture, since aquired by Yahoo. I'm not done yet, so I may have more to say on this topic soon, but I've read plenty to recommend it. I give it 2 3/4 stars out of 4 - mostly because that simplistic business writing style isn't engaging enough for a serious reader. I'd rate it higher if I was only considering it against similar business books.

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