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A chapter from Folk Music 2.0: Better odds through science.

One thing you’ve got to admit, the internet is what we call reality-based even if the reality is virtual.  And it’s based on science, isn’t it? Acts logically, mathematically, to make it all work. You want better odds on being heard, an increased chance of success, so put SCIENCE ahead of ART for a few minutes and consider this:

Go to Google and start typing. But just one letter, say A. Whoah. What do you see? I get Amazon, AOL and American Airlines suggested to me. Mind you, you may get different result, especially if you are logged in to, say, a Google account; they know everything about your browsing habits and will attempt to choose what their computer’s think you are looking for. But no matter, Google is still using science to make those suggestions.

OK, so what? Well, let’s examine how they come up with these suggestions.  If you want to do any testing (you know, the scientific method), log out of any account that might affect your searches, again, especially google. You also might want to delete your browsing history. This takes any ‘user bias’ out of the equation (notice how we can smartly bandy these math terms about)- try the A test again.  I still get the same big three, and I bet I know why. There are 671 million reasons for Google to pick Amazon first, as that’s how many LINKS they found for that term. What’s more, I can see from Google Keyword Analytics that 83 million people a month search for that term. They are just laying odds that Amazon is likely to be what you are after when you start typing with an A. Number two, AOL, as you might expect, has lower numbers than Amazon, take my word for it or check for yourself.

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