What people do online

Click by Bill Tancer

I just finished reading Bill Tancer’s book Click: What We Do Online and Why it Matters. If you’re interested in web trends, search engine marketing, or you’re just curious about how people use the internet, it’s well worth a read.

Bill Tancer is the General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise. I had an account with Hitwise during my time as Online Group Senior Editor at Future Publishing, and I have to say it’s a great online intelligence service. Here in the UK they track traffic details of 8 million internet users (in the US it’s 10 million). That’s a big sample base.

Bill’s book Click shares many insights into online behaviour that he has gleaned from this valuable data. Highlights for me include:

  • The mystery of why teenage girls start searching for Prom dresses in January, way before the Prom season in May.
  • His insights into the celebrity worship syndrome that has driven so much traffic to the likes of PerezHilton and TMZ (I saw this phenomenon first hand when I worked on developing the MusicToob site).
  • The single statistic that ‘How to…’ queries account for 3% of all search queries in the US.
  • His insights into social media and the so-called ‘super connectors’ that can push aspiring music artists over the tipping point.

You can buy Click for a good price at Amazon and no doubt many other excellent places.

Have you read Click? Share your views in the comments below.