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Battelles The Search: A Review of Reviews

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Well, looks like John Battelle has done it. He’s written the first and therefore definitive book on Google and the dawning of the search generation. But in the words of Lavar Burton from “Reading Rainbow,” don’t take my word for it.

The critics all seem in general agreement. “The Search” is a hit and will likely be gracing the pizza-greased university hands of business, search, and IT students everywhere, who no doubt will be attempting to digest it in one night. But the depth of research included in the book, along with the weighty discussion of some of the more important future implications is probably too much to take in during a cram session. That is, of course, unless you’re name is Johnny 5.

Battelle covers the early world of search, the birth of Google, the transformation of business models and the impact such a shift will have on the future of commerce. From Sergey Brin’s and Larry Page’s offering up “Back Rub” (the original Google) for $1.6 million and finding no one willing to pony up, to their subsequent rise to billionaire A-number-one powerbroker status, to an exploration of potential big brother privacy issues involving the US government and the controversial Patriot Act, the book seems to cover the whole spectrum.

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch poured over the tome with a fine-toothed comb to find only a pair of disagreements. Afterwards, though, he has to admit, “I’m a tough audience to please, and if that’s all I’m finding in a 300+ page book, it’s an A+ effort.”

Google employee (and proud Ale-8-1 drinkin’ Kentucky boy) Matt Cutts found only one snag.

“So far, I’ve uncovered one major problem: I couldn’t put it down,” reported Cutts on his Google blog.

Michael Liedtke of the Associated Press gives it mixed, but overall positive, reviews in probably the most circulated review (appearing in newspapers and other media across the country).

“It doesn’t drop any bombshells. But “The Search” excavates some intriguing new details about Google, culled from interviews with more than 350 people including Google’s controlling triumvirate – Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.”

So no bombshells, but it is thorough.

“The Search offers one of the most complete histories of the search industry I’ve seen. And while many of the accounts of the past are familiar, Battelle fleshes them out with additional detail gained from interviewing many people who played both major and minor parts in the search industry over the past decade or so,” says Search Engine Watch’s Chris Sherman.

Whether every part of it is your cup of tea or not, The Search seems written especially for anyone looking to know the ins and outs of the search engine world.

Battelles The Search: A Review of Reviews
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