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More on the Book, Favorite Subtitles So Far…

By - January 17, 2005

Book Open

As most of you know, last Friday I posted a plea for help on the subtitle for my book. I never imagined I’d get so many responses – 90 comments so far and still climbing, and more than 150 discrete suggestions. Thank you!

So as to hone your subtitlin’ skills, many of you asked me what the hell the book was really about, and that certainly is a reasonable question. So let me attempt to outline the thing, given that I just sent chapter 9 of 10 to my editor, and I need a break from writing it. (Instead, of course, I’m writing about it, but there you have it.)

The book breaks into ten discrete chapters, and attempts to tell the story of search through any number of major narrative actors, as well as via a few key Big Ideas. One of them is the Database of Intentions, which was one of the first posts on Searchblog, but others include the idea of Intent over Content as well as the power of the Search Economy. As one might expect, Google plays a significant role in the book – I devote three chapters to the company.

In any case, here’s the outline (subject to change, of course).

Chapter One I’m calling “Why Search.” I attempt to lay out why I think search is such a big deal. If you’ve read my immortality or eternal/ephemeral riff, or the DoI post, you’ll find some familiar stuff in here. I preface some of the bigger issues – privacy, shifts in business, etc. – that I go more deeply into in subsequent chapters. I end with a pretty far fetched scenario around AI, but that’s kind of the point of the first chapter – get you interested in all manner of things, and hopefully pay it off later on.

Chapter Two I’ve come to call “Who What Where Why When (and How Much)” – this is the chapter many of you search vets might skip, as it introduces how search works, what its basic business model is, how we came to where we are in search, and so on.

Chapter Three I’m calling “History” – it tells the story of early search, from Archie to AltaVista, and the rise of the portals. There’s a fair amount of Yahoo in there (of course, if you count AltaVista, there’s a lot of Yahoo in there).

Chapter Four is called “Google Is Born.” This was a lot of fun to research.

Chapter Five chronicles the birth of Overture and profiles Bill Gross. Also, very fun.

Chapter Six might as well be called “Google’s middle years” – 2000-2004, roughly.

Chapter Seven I’m calling “The Search Economy” and it goes into the amazing growth of the search industry and its impacts on all forms of commerce, on and offline.

Chapter Eight discusses the impact of search on society – from privacy to The China Question.

Chapter Nine I’m calling “Google Now.” A sort of meditation on the company post IPO.

And Chapter Ten, finally, is “The Future of Search”, which I posted on earlier.

Well, there you have it. Reading over this, it seems a bit dry, but there’s a lot of fun stuff in there, I think.

So, does that help with any more subtitle ideas? So far, there have been some great ones, some hilarious ones, and some pretty terrible ones to boot. But I love ‘em all. Some of my favorites so far, at least in terms of informing the final choice or making me laugh out loud:

The Search: The Web’s Killer App

I’M FEELING LUCKY: Knowledge and Wealth in the Age of Google

The Search: How Google Made Us Forget How Little We Really Know

Results 1-10 of about 17,300,000

Google Trek III: The Search for Stock

The Inside Story of How Google Taps the Global Brain (and Our Wallets, Too)

The Search: Intellectual Capitalism in the Age of Google

GETTING EVERYTHING: Search in the Age of Google

Inside Google and the birth of a new industry

Search: The Battle for Digital Dominance in the Age of Google (this one came via email)

Keep those cards and letters coming, and thanks again!

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20 thoughts on “More on the Book, Favorite Subtitles So Far…

  1. Bill Furlong says:

    John

    Looks like this is a blast for you… participatory editors before you go to print!

    how about “Google: a new verb is born.” :)

    I still owe you a call.

    Bill Furlong
    Searchchannel

  2. john john says:

    The Search Wars: How Google and Yahoo birthed a billion dollar industry

  3. The Business Of Search: How Google Turned A Tool Into A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

  4. How about a subtitle with a hint of Adam Smith?

    The Search: Google and the Wealth of Knowledge

  5. Doug Mehus says:

    I dislike all titles that begin with “The Search”. Sounds too primitive and basic.

    My pick is “Results 1-10 of about 17,300,000″.

    Cheers,
    Doug

  6. Thanks Doug, I’m flattered. But I have to confess I was thinking that the title was already set, so it would be “The Search: Results 1-10 of about 17,300,000″.

    Given the nature of media, that sounds about right :-).

  7. Let me advise you to think of this as an SEO problem (search engine optimization), which is a perspective that the publisher’s marketing people may be weak on.

    You want your book to come up when people search for relevant keywords on Amazon, bn.com, etc., and preferably even when they search the Web at large.

    Thus, for sure, include the word “search” in the title (maybe even the variant “searching” as well, though that could be overkill).

    I personally dislike having the word “Google” in the title, because that makes me think that it’s a short-term profiteering work that’s going to rehash once more how two young Stanford students got rich, which is not exactly something that’s going to help anybody else achieve anything. In contrast, a deep understanding of search is very valuable for anybody who runs a website.

    However, going back to my comment about SEO, you probably should include “Google” in the title or subtitle anyway, because a lot of potential buyers are going to be searching for that keyword in the online bookstores.

    I’M FEELING LUCKY is a clever part of the title, but it’s not going to generate you any hits. Just not a set of keywords anybody will be searching for.

  8. pb says:

    … that makes me think that it’s a short-term profiteering work that’s going to rehash once more how two young Stanford students got rich

    Er. Isn’t that the idea?

  9. Brad Hill says:

    Keyword Wars: How Search Engines Became Search Empires

    Search: Needles, Haystacks, and the High-Stakes Industry that Separates Them

    Found! How Online Searching Became a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

    …more where that came from.

  10. I like the title…
    Easy Answers: How Search Made the Internet Useful

    Best,
    Richard

  11. Esoos Bobnar says:

    The Search: Picking the Brain of the Global Mind

  12. objectfire says:

    The Search: How Googling Uncovered the Keywords to Our Humanity and Wealth

  13. objectfire says:

    The Search: How Googling Discovered the Keywords to Your Humanity and Wealth

  14. Elise says:

    Nice blog and comments. I heard about your book in AdAge today and wrote this quack:

    ‘The Intent of the Long Tail is Pointing to Content’
    http://www.adquack.com/article127.html

    we like to quack alot at http://adquack.com

    so we’ve covered
    http://www.adquack.com/article81.html

    When it comes Email are you ‘HOT’ or ‘G’

    and lately Amazon’s birthday bash

    http://www.adquack.com/article125.html

    As you can see we have some ideas up for discussion. So hope you’ll come by and dive in.

  15. Joe says:

    Search: Monetizing the global mind.

    Search: Wheel of the information age.

    Search: Data to information to knowledge … to the world.

    I would not have google in the title either, there is so much to search that came from all the engines that tried and failed and the one still coming now.

  16. Erwin says:

    musique film cite des anges , zouc musique antillaise , musique et bide..

  17. I personally dislike having the word “Google” in the title, because that makes me think that it’s a short-term profiteering work that’s going to rehash once more how two young Stanford students got rich, which is not exactly something that’s going to help anybody else achieve anything. In contrast, a deep understanding of search is very valuable for anybody who runs a website.

  18. I personally dislike having the word “Google” in the title, because that makes me think that it’s a short-term profiteering work that’s going to rehash once more how two young Stanford students got rich, which is not exactly something that’s going to help anybody else achieve anything. In contrast, a deep understanding of search is very valuable for anybody who runs a website.

  19. Proxy says:

    The Search Wars: How Google and Yahoo birthed a billion dollar industry

  20. Louie Ares says:

    Very good article.. the comments are good as well!