Everything Google

I recently got a Kindle and find that I'm reading more now than before. I'm definitely buying more books. Note to publishers: I don't think twice about buying an eBook at $9.99. As soon as I see a price above that level, I usually look elsewhere. I'll even order a competitor's book before I shell out more.

The Kindle does a lot of things well. The wireless downloading of books is without a doubt the best feature. I recently bought three eBooks all dealing in some manner with Google. I read all three at the same time, letting the Kindle keep track of where I was in each book. Since I read all three books simultaneously and all three cover similar ground, I thought I'd comment on them together rather than separately.

I'll start with the book Googled: The End of the World as We Know It.

Googled written by Ken Auletta
Rating *****

This book looks at the short history of Google. How it started. The founders. The path to the number one search engine. The culture. And a lot more about what makes Google tick. I admire Google as a company. They are great at some things. They are terrible at others. Ken Auletta covers the good and the ugly. The book is fairly balanced. He doesn't exalt the two founders Larry Page and Segey Brin. He points out the company's many missteps along with their achievements. So while you get an inside look at Google, it's from an unbiased perspective.

It was interesting learning how the whole Adwords, AdSense program got started. One of the biggest money making machines ever invented was thought up by a single employee and implemented by a couple of engineers. Today it's a billion dollar revenue source for Google.

Google is one of those companies you wished you would have bought stock in early on. As I worked through the book I kept thinking I should buy some stock in this company right now before it's too late. By the end of the book I was having second thoughts. While Google is still poised to do some great things, they now have many of the problems that all companies have when they get too big. There are too many levels to wade through to get anything done. The company is engineer centric and not customer service centric. The knew Nexus One phone, for example, is likely to bite the dust. At least as a Google only product. The company doesn't know how to do customer service. I see them passing the whole thing off to a phone company.

The second book I want to talk about is Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Meerman Scott
Rating ***

This book covers the topic of search engine optimization (SEO). While the book was highly recommended and received glowing reviews on Amazon, I didn't find it as useful as I would have hoped. It covers all the basics like Google, blogs, social media sites like Twitter, Digg, and Facebook. But I didn't go out and change the way I'm doing things. If you're knew to the subject, then definitely get this book. If you have a solid grasp of what SEO is all about, I'm not sure that there's all that much here. In fact, the book spends a lot of time promoting various web sites and products that have a connection with the two authors.

The third book on my list isGoogle AdWords For Dummies by Howie Jacobson
Rating *****

Let me first say that this is not a book that I would recommend for the Kindle. I hate saying that because I'm a big fan of the Kindle. But it has limitations. It doesn't do a good job displaying graphics and tables. It doesn't handle screen captures very well, and this book relies heavily on screen shots. Another negative is the $14.84 price. Had there been a lower cost option I would have chosen that instead or better yet I would have bought the hard copy.

When I wasn't struggling to see the all important screen shots, I was soaking up the informationn contained in this comprehensive book. Almost everyday I implemented changes to my Adwords campaign based on suggestions found in the book. If you are involved in managing an Adwords campaign, you need this book. The author also has a web site where you can find additional information, instructional videos, and tools.

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