Recently, there were two new books that came out about Google. Not on how to rank well in Google or to do better at AdWords but on how Google works.
The two books are named In The Plex by Steven Levy and I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards.
Both books go deep into how Google became what it is today. One was written by a reporter who became ingrained in Google's lives. The other was written by a former Googler who was their 59th employee.
I have read In The Plex a month or so ago and learned a great deal as to why Google is the way it is. But I am currently reading Douglas Edwards's book and I am learning a lot more, at least from understanding why Google works the way it does and potentially where they will go in the future.
Ted from WebmasterWorld feels that reading these books makes him an better SEO and better and understanding how Google's algorithms work and where they will go in the future. Ted explained it better than I can:
If anyone wants to sail, then they need a real appreciation for the ocean. If they want to go backpacking, they need knowledge of the woods and terrain, and the more accurate the better.
We want to use Google organic search results as one way to market our web businesses, and yet we often have a very unrealistic idea of what, exactly, Google is. And when we operate under false assumptions, sooner or later we can get crushed.
For this reason I work very hard to build a realistic model of what Google is as a business - and what they are not. No kool-aid for me, but no knee-jerk negativity either. Both are distortions and will lead use astray.
I'm currently about 200 pages into a new book called "In The Plex" by Steven Levy, published April 2011. It's good stuff, and I recommend it for anyone who is trying to appreciate what Google is and what they are not.
I totally agree, but I strong recommend you read both these books.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.