The New York Times' coverage of Amazon's cloud computing ambitions reminded me of a Business Insider post that appeared last week. In it, Nicholas Carlson makes the claim that the company Google executives fear most is not Apple or Facebook, but Amazon.
Outlining Amazon's one-click purchase process, Carr suggests that the company's post-search ease of use trumps much of what Google's algorithm offers. It also takes advantage of a growing trend among internet searchers: we're looking for products and solutions, not just information.
It's a useful point, one borne out by the success that Amazon has had with selling content on the Kindle.
Ease of "search plus sale" could also inform how publishers think about fighting piracy. As Kirk Biglione has illustrated, it takes more work to download content from torrent sites. If the goal is to sell something useful, thinking about the back end makes a lot of sense.