Leading my list of people to thank is Bill Hunt, my co-author. When I first met Bill, I was an expert in search technology, but knew almost nothing about search marketing on the Web. To me, if there was a problem with a search engine returning the wrong results, then we should dive in and tweak the ranking algorithm until it worked. Uh, right. Bill quickly showed me the rules of the search marketing road, and I started to learn search from the outside inhow to change our site to get what we want. In our work together at ibm.com, Bill has helped me through every difficult problem and has made it fun. Working on a book is never easy, but working with Bill made it as easy as possible.
I would like to thank my IBM management, including John Rosato and Lee Dierdorff, for their encouragement to complete this book. (I want to stress that the opinions expressed in this book are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the IBM Corporation or IBM's management.) I also want to thank Doug Maine, David Bradley, and Jeanine Cotter, my former executive management at IBM, who were willing to take a chance on search marketing at IBM. This book is a compilation of what worked, but I want to thank them for riding out the things that did not work out as well.
I want to thank Jeff Schaffer from my IBM team, a good friend with a wonderful mind, who worked with me to develop many of the original ideas in the Web Conversion Cycle. Special thanks go to IBM teammate Alex Holt for reviewing every page of the book and offering helpful suggestions.
The team at IBM Press, especially our editor Bernard Goodwin, was very helpful, and Daria Goetsch reviewed several chapters and provided helpful comments. Many others provided assistance and encouragement along the way, including Andrei Broder, Kevin Chiu, Gideon Sasson, and others who I am probably forgetting.
Most of all, I want to thank my wife, Linda, and my children, David, Madeline, Marcella, and Dwight, who made so many sacrifices so "Daddy could write his book," being patient while I spent many hours writing on top of an already heavy workload from my day job at IBM. Without their love and support, I certainly could never have completed this book. I have read many acknowledgments of authors thanking their families for the heavy burdens they carried while the book was written, and I now understand what those other authors were saying. My family deserves every accolade for helping me complete this. I love them very much.
But my wife, Linda, requires a special acknowledgment for her work on this book, because it goes so far beyond anything an author would ever expect of a spouse. Before this book ever went to the publisher, Linda proofread it. And copyedited it. And the publisher was very pleased with how clean it was (crediting Bill and me far too much). But even those exhausting tasks do not scratch the surface of what Linda put into this book.
Linda is herself an accomplished magazine writer and book author, thus bringing a level of professionalism and experience to the craft of writing that she painstakingly taught me throughout the writing of this, my first book. But Linda brought even more to this book than her writing skills. Linda has worked as a programmer in a large company and is the Webmaster of three Web sites, so she is actually the perfect audience for this book. Her keen technical mind and corporate experience made her the ideal reader. We spent hours brainstorming ideas for the book, honing them until we agreed on the best way to explain them. As Bill and I "completed" each chapter, I would present it to Linda to see whether it made any sense to her, as someone who should understand it perfectly. And occasionally it did. But more frequently, Linda pointed out a critical flaw in terminology, a better organization for the same information, an improvement to a figure, or simply a technical error that we had overlooked. It sounds trite to say that this would not be the same book without Linda, but it is true. You would not believe how much harder to understand it would be. Linda did not just proofread or copyedit the words, she inspected the ideas. She judged the nomenclature, the style, the consistency, the flowshe worked over every thought and every word. Linda was truly our editor, in every sense of the word.