John Battelle predicted the commercial rise of Search (GOOG) back in 2005 in his book with the subtitle ‘ How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture’ . One of his central metaphors was ‘the database of intentions’. Advertisers would pay huge sums of money to place an ad(word) triggered by a search term If someone is looking for a nice holiday farm in Tuscany it might make sense to place an ad for just that and hope that someone might click. Right so. The rest is history one might add.
Now intentions are under pressure. Amazon has this huge database with people who actually bought something. An act to buy is behavior. Actual behavior is far more interesting information for advertisers. Not for all products and services maybe, but for a lot.