Searching for a Good Searching Book?

Looking for a book to help you sharpen your searching skills? Look no further—here’s a compilation of reviews published in SearchDay over the past several years.

I’m often asked for recommendations of books that help people learn to take greater advantage of all aspects of search engines. I’ve reviewed dozens of books in SearchDay over the years—some dealing with general-purpose search engines, others focusing on specific niches.

I’m compiling a list of all search-related book reviews published in SearchDay, and plan to run them as a series over the coming weeks. This first installment is dedicated to books about general web search tactics and techniques. I’ll also be publishing a list of reviews of search marketing books, specialized searching techniques and technical guides to search related technology. Once I’ve got everything pulled together I’ll also publish a Big List of search-related book reviews that I’ll continue to update as new reviews are added.

Web Searching Book Reviews

Use the alphabetically arranged links below to go directly to a review. Scroll down the page for a reverse-chronological listings and a brief description of each book review.

Find It Online: The Complete Guide to Online Research, Alan Schlein
Google Hacks, Tara Calishain
Google Hacks (2nd Edition), Tara Calishain
How to do Everything with Google, Fritz Schneider, Eric Fredricksen & Nancy Blachman
The Extreme Searcher’s Guide to Web Search Engines
The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook, Randolph Hock
The Invisible Web, Chris Sherman & Gary Price
The Search: How Google Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture, John Battelle
Yahoo to the Max!, Ran Hock
Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet, Anne Mintz
Web Search Garage, Tara Calishain

Reverse Chronological Listings

Search as the New Great Game
SearchDay, Sept. 15, 2005

In years past, major powers struggled to win the hearts and minds of people by maneuvering in what Kipling called “the great game.” The new great game is playing out not as geopolitical intrigue, but in a egalitarian dance that transcends borders and is reshaping social reality, says John Battelle in his new book The Search.

The Search: How Google Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture is an ambitious work that’s unlike any book I’ve yet encountered. Although the subtitle includes the requisite mention of Google, the book is really a much broader look at both the history of the web search industry and the profound effects and changes it is having on our social lives.

Yahoo to the Max
SearchDay, June 22, 2005

Extreme searcher Ran Hock has published a new book, this time taking an in-depth look at the wide range of tools and services offered by Yahoo.

Longtime SearchDay readers know that I’m an unabashed fan of Ran Hock’s writing and speaking. Ran’s previous books, The Extreme Searcher’s Guide to Web Search Engines and The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook are both essential titles that belong in every serious searcher’s library. Yahoo to the Max continues in the tradition of taking a careful, thoughtful look at the huge amount of content and the multitude of services and tools available at Yahoo.

Newer, Fresher Google Hacks
SearchDay, March 2, 2005

One of the best books about Google has just been updated with new content and useful tools that make it even easier to exploit the full power of the popular search engine.

Google, of course, has done anything but stand still over the past two years. To keep the book fresh, co-authors Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest have released a second edition of Google Hacks.

Tuning up your Skills in the Web Search Garage
SearchDay, November 3, 2004

Every now and then a book comes along that’s a must-read for every serious searcher, and Tara Calishain’s Web Search Garage falls squarely into that category.

I’m not given to hyperbole, but it’s no exaggeration for me to call Tara Calishain one of the world’s foremost experts on web search. She not only sports the technical chops, she also has an insatiable curiosity and proclivity for experimenting with search tools to push them to the limits. And in Web Search Garage, Tara gives us an inside look at her own search “workshop,” providing an intimate glimpse of an artisan practicing her craft.

Everything Google
SearchDay, May 20, 2004

Underneath its simple, sparse interface, Google is loaded with useful tools and services, though they’re not always easy to find. A new book offers an inside guide to maximizing the power of the search engine.

Now we have How to do Everything with Google, a pretty audacious title, but one that’s not as hypish as it sounds. This is because two of its authors, Fritz Schneider and Eric Fredricksen, are Google employees, and the third, Nancy Blachman, is an experienced technical writer who also runs the useful Google Guide website. In short, people who really do know how to do most everything with Google and share their knowledge in the book.

An Extreme Searcher’s Guide to the Best of the Web
SearchDay, February 11, 2004

One of the world’s foremost super searchers has distilled his extensive and wide-ranging knowledge into an essential guide to the web’s highest quality resources.

The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook, by Randolph Hock, is both a compendium of high quality web sites, and a treasure trove of tips and tricks for finding information online. Subtitled “A Guide for the Serious Searcher,” the book is an excellent follow-on to Ran’s previous book, The Extreme Searcher’s Guide to Web Search Engines.

Why Google Hacks is a Bestseller
SearchDay, May 22, 2003

Google Hacks, by Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest, cracked the ranks of the New York Times top ten business paperback sellers for May. This is unprecedented. It’s rare that a technology book sells this well, and even rarer that a book about a search engine is so popular — especially with a subtitle like “100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools.”

But the book deserves its success. Calishain and Dornfest are excellent writers, explaining even the most complex ideas and processes in clear, accessible language. And they illustrate their “hacks” with useful examples — things that people might actually want to do with Google.

Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet
SearchDay, October 16, 2002

A new book offers an eye-opening expose of the varied types of chicanery, fraud and misinformation that’s rife on the Internet—and what to do if you get stung by it.

Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet is a new book from Forbes Inc.’s Director of Knowledge Management, Anne P. Mintz. Mintz offers a marvelous expose of the multitudes of chicanery that can be found online. The book is a collection of essays from leading authorities who discuss both the social and technical reasons why inaccurate information exists on the Internet.

Find It Online: A Searcher’s Baedeker
SearchDay, August 27, 2002

The third edition of Alan Schlein’s Find It Online is both a guided tour of the web’s most interesting and exotic information resources, and a hands-on tutorial for becoming a searching expert.

Find It Online: The Complete Guide to Online Research is packed with useful information, including a lot that was new to me, despite my familiarity with the web. Schlein’s tone is conversational, but authoritative, reflecting his background as an award-winning journalist.

Navigating the Invisible Web
SearchDay, October 23, 2001

To paraphrase the razor salesman, I was so impressed with the Invisible Web that I wrote a book about it. The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can’t See, written with co-author Gary Price, is a 439 page volume covering everything we know about the web’s hidden treasures.

The book takes a detailed look at the nature and extent of the Invisible Web, and offers pathfinders for accessing the valuable information it contains. We include a history of Web search engines, a detailed examination of what the Invisible web is (and is not), show you how to find your own way around the Invisible web, and include links and descriptions of more than 1,000 Invisible Web resources that we consider to be among the very best on the Net.

The Extreme Searcher’s Guide to Web Search Engines
SearchDay, July 19, 2001

If I were putting together a desert island collection of books on searching, Randolph Hock’s The Extreme Searcher’s Guide to Web Search Engines would be at the top of the list. The book, now in its second edition, is one of the most comprehensive, authoritative and just downright useful guides to what goes on under the hood of the major search services.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

GooglePrint and the other culture war
Slate Oct 18 2005 3:31PM GMT
Problems With Splogs & Time-Based Searching
Search Engine Watch Oct 18 2005 3:25PM GMT
Jux2 For Sale
Searchblog Oct 18 2005 3:21PM GMT
Media Execs Bullish On Ad Spending
Media Post Oct 18 2005 3:18PM GMT
Getting Informed about New News Aggregator Inform
Search Engine Watch Oct 18 2005 3:15PM GMT
Search Shows Smithsonian’s Facets Oct 18 2005 3:08PM GMT
The Search Engine’s Lobbyist
ClickZ Today Oct 18 2005 3:01PM GMT
PodSpider Podcast Search Engine
ResearchBuzz Oct 18 2005 2:58PM GMT
SEOs Around The World
Search Engine Watch Oct 18 2005 2:57PM GMT
SEO Ranking Factors – the Rand Fishkin interview Oct 18 2005 2:25PM GMT
Web Fads Went Bad + Google’s Most Popular Pages
SearchViews Oct 18 2005 8:51AM GMT
Splog Content Thieves Take AdSense Code in Package
Search Engine Journal Oct 18 2005 5:28AM GMT
How Important Is It To Google That You Download Their Toolbar?
Searchblog Oct 17 2005 4:27PM GMT
Reasons to Outsource PPC Campaigns
Search Engine Round Table Oct 17 2005 4:25PM GMT
Blinkx tunes in to Virgin Radio
Netimperative Oct 17 2005 4:13PM GMT

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