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Monday, January 27, 2003

Search Engines as Reverse Broadcasting

One of the most interesting aspects of Google is what it can tell us about ourselves. Google's search content (queries made to its search engine) are instant artifacts of the times we live in. See Google's Zeitgeist for a glimpse into the global mass mentality. I especially like the way Zeitgeist can can show the evolution of (or perhaps predict?) a trend sweeping the globe (such as Las Ketchup). I wish Zeitgest would go deeper, I think the real interesting stuff lies deeper than the Top 10 in each category.

Search engine commentator Danny Sullivan nicely describes the unique value of Google's inquiry data.

"I liken search engines to being a 'reverse broadcast network.' People pay tons to be on television because you can get your message out in front of millions of people: broadcasting. With search engines, millions of people are telling you *their* messages: what they want to buy, purchase or get information about. You don't broadcast to them; instead, it's the reverse, they broadcast to you. There's very little if anything as a marketing or information medium that I can think of that compares to this. It's golden and still today amazingly unrecognized".

I found this quote second hand on searchengineblog.