Bill Tancer

Author, Everyone's A Critic
General Manager, Hitwise

How to leverage online reviews for business success.

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Bill Tancer is the world's preeminent expert on online behaviour. A New York Times bestselling author, Bill is the General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise, the world's leading online competitive intelligence services company.

Mining his company's database of more than 10 million Internet users every day, he answers questions about what people are really doing online and how they use Internet-based services, from searching to commerce and online giving. Brilliantly adept at understanding the patterns in this data, Bill also speaks on what our behavior means — how we think and act, as consumers, citizens and Net surfers, what are the hot new trends, how we interact with one another.

His latest book is Everyone's a Critic: Winning Customers in a Review-Driven World. More than seventy percent of consumers now consult online reviews before making purchases, and those reviews, on Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, and more, can have a huge impact on a company's success. Many businesses feel threatened by this trend — but, as Bill explains, online reviews can be a huge help to business owners once they learn how to leverage them.

Bill's previous book is the New York Times bestseller Click: What We Do Online and Why It Matters. Offering a truly unique and all-new perspective on human behaviour, Click analyses how we search on the Internet, where we go, and what we do there. The results are surprising and indispensable to companies trying to reach consumers and anyone interested in the evolution of the Net-connected life.

Bill is a frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg and has been quoted by major publications about online consumer behaviour. He previously wrote a weekly column for TIME titled “The Science of Search.”


  • General Manager, global research, Hitwise
  • Author, Everyone's A Critic, Click
  • Former Director, Market Research, LookSmart
  • Former Director, Strategy, zaplet
  • Former Director, Marketing Strategy, nbci


Everyone's a Critic

Winning Customers in a Review-Driven World

Bill Tancer

How businesses can harness the power of online consumer reviews

More than seventy percent of consumers now consult online reviews before making purchases, and they take those picks and pans very seriously. A disgruntled but ignorant customer on Yelp might have more clout than any expert guidebook, magazine article, or newspaper critic. No wonder many businesses feel terrified by the review-driven marketplace.

But some savvy businesses have figured out how to navigate — and even profit from — the new world of ubiquitous customer reviews. Bill Tancer takes readers on a fascinating journey inside that world, revealing how sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and many others are changing the way we interact. Readers learn, for instance, why one Los Angeles barber decided to advertise his one-star Yelp reviews; what's behind the highest-rated locksmith service in New York City; and how one scrappy hotel figured out how to become the highest rated in London.

Tancer's fascinating stories and data-driven research show how online reviews can be a huge help to business owners, once they learn how to leverage them.

Portfolio (16 Oct 2014)


What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters—Unexpected Insights for Business and Life

Bill Tancer

We are what we click.

What time of year do teenage girls search for prom dresses online? How does innovation spread from an idea to mass adoption and how can businesses track the adoption of technology to competitive advantage? In a world where market leadership can be upended in a matter of days, how can any company in their right mind operate blind to the competition around them?

In his new book Click, Bill Tancer takes us behind the scenes into the massive database of online intelligence to reveal the truth about how we use the Web, navigate to sites, and search for information — and what all of that says about who we are. Tracking and analyzing the billions of trails left by millions of users, he offers surprising and practical insights that can be used to our advantage in business and in life.

HarperCollins (5 Feb 2009)


Bill tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Understanding online behavior




An advertising conference:
It's hard to believe it has already been a week since your fabulous presentation. So many people have made great comments about your stage presence and the insights you shared with us. Please accept our heartfelt thank you for your exceptional contribution in making our conference day and a great success.

A publishing trade organisation:
Thank you so much for helping us hold the very best Annual Meeting ever. The feedback about Bill's presentation has been wonderful. He did a fabulous job and charmed the entire industry. We held a Board meeting after the Annual Meeting and Board members kept coming up with things we should hire Bill to track. It was great fun and all very interesting.

A worldwide children's medical charity:
Thank you very much for having Bill speak to us. He was terrific. You could tell he put a lot of thought and research into our organization for his presentation.