Matt's Reviews > The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture

The Search by John Battelle
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's review
Jun 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: tech, non-fiction
Read from June 16 to 26, 2011

A cool look at the evolution of the internet through search engines - not just Google, but also the earlier-generation Webcrawler, Excite, AltaVista, etc - and the respective business models behind them. Much of the book details how Google went from 2 employees to thousands, from private to public, and managed unprecedented amount of growth, though the chapter I found most interesting was "Search, Privacy, Government, Evil". Even though it was written in 2005, the issues presented - Google's engagement with Chinese censorship, our own government's PATRIOT Act, consumers' changing comfort level with the linking of search/email history to targeted advertisements* - are still quite relevant today.

* Remember when Gmail advertisements began to be organized based on the content of your stored emails, or when Facebook started running advertisements based on profile-specific demographics? Doesn't it seem somewhat quant to think of the number of people who were creeped out by those practices, whereas today they're just generally accepted?

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