Click

December 1st, 2009 Books & Publishing, Fast Thinking

As the most established killer app on the web, search engines generally haven’t enjoyed or sexy profile or staggering growth of social networking or web 2.0.

Bit Tancer, global research head of search tracking consultancy Hitwise, makes the case for search engine data being a goldmine. In what must be a career with very limited appeal, he seems to spend his days and night trawling through search engine data to extract the hidden story of the who/what/why/how/when of internet searches.

The first half of the book is more or less an ad for the company, where Tancer explains his predictions about when people will search for a given thing or his detective work to understand seemingly aberrant search phenomena (like searches for prom dresses months before the traditional US prom season).

It’s extremely US-centric and despite a few nuggets of revealing wisdom such as the fact that the majority of Internet searches lead to porn, pills or casinos, Click is simply a reminder that as a society we leave a paper trail on the web somewhere no matter what we do. If you’re in the industry where expensive consultants charge a fortune to report this intelligence to clients, you may get more out of it.


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