Version 2/20/06
These notes are from the book: The Search: John Batelle
Class Support Material: Hackers, Hits and Chats

Database of Intentions.

Google Zeitgeist Google has data about our culture. What interests us.

What are the consequences of such a collection of data ? Google is now wrestling with the DOJ regarding access to its data. DOJ is requesting data to determine access to child porn sites. Google questions the merits of the request as well as the potential for opening up their IP.

P14: "we are one bad story away from being big brother ..."

Google's motto: "don't be evil" is coming under scrutiny based on its recent actions with China:

Google's defense is that chinese citizens are better off with a censured google than no google, they also argue that by making this move they are highlighting this human rights issue.

Google's critics point to google's explicit support of censurship by operating in China, and see the decision is motivated by dollars and the fact their competition is operating in China.

If google can prevent the DOJ access to their data, this may help them recover their lustre. Trust is critical to google's success.

The future lies in a more intelligent search, when search really understands the user and his / her needs, and can persistantly search the web without user interaction.

50% of searches on any given day are unique: The Long Tail.

How search works

Three step process:
  1. Crawl
  2. Index (metatags: biography)
  3. Serve
Search is a means to an end. A quick look at the marketshare of search engines.

Some numbers:
175,000 servers at Google.
85% of online users use search, > 107 m in the US, 38 m ppl using search each day, strong demographics (young, smart), 100 m people made purchases after a search in 2003, 115 million did a product search
25% search is local, 20% for entertainment, 15% commercial, 65% for information.

50% of searches each day are for unique terms, the 'long tail'. Makes for a compelling niche marketing proposition.

History of Search

  1. archie
  2. veronica
  3. web crawler
  4. alta vista
  5. lycos
  6. excite
  7. yahoo!
  8. google