Smart Marketers are statistically improbable according to Amazon.com

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Long Tail  |  New Rules of Marketing and PR  |  Buyer Persona  |  writing  |  Research and Analysis

Amazon recently turned on Search Inside for The New Rules of Marketing & PR.

I finished the manuscript for the book way back in December 2006 (about a decade in Internet time). As an author, some of the things that get surfaced by Search Inside jolt me. Did I write that? It’s like running into an old girlfriend after many years.


Search Inside takes every word of the book and runs it through a bunch of algorithms. Many authors and publishers don’t like search inside because they feel people can "steal" their work. Nonsense. Having my book appear in search results when someone enters a phrase that is used in the book is a terrific benefit. Search Inside also allows buyers to virtually flip through the book as they would in a bookstore. Being able to browse before a purchase is important for any Web site. Amazon lets publishers opt out of Search Inside, but I think those who do are making a mistake.

I'm particularly intrigued by the Amazon.com Statistically Improbable Phrases which are the most distinctive phrases in the text of books in the Search Inside program. To identify Statistically Improbable Phrases, Amazon indexes every word of every book in the Search Inside program. Phrases that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to all Search Inside books are considered Statistically Improbable Phrases. The idea here is if a consumer is looking for a book on a subject, the Amazon search engine surfaces the right books by analyzing the text inside the book, not just the title and subtitle.

Some of the Statistically Improbable Phrases for The New Rules of Marketing & PR include: buyer personas, online media room, news release content, persona research, news release strategy, persona profile, influential bloggers, news release program, search engine marketing, click fraud, landing page, social networking sites, blog posts, online news sites, smart marketers. What a great way to surface long tail content.

So if someone, such as Adele Revella for example, had entered buyer personas into the Amazon search engine, my book would pop up in the book search results page because that phrase is statistically improbable and it appears in my book a lot. How cool is that?

I think the list of Statistically Improbable Phrases that are surfaced for my book is a great one. My book is about those things!

But hey, why are "smart marketers" statistically improbable? What does that say about marketing people?