Back to the topic at hand, I'm unsure of how bad a thing forcing users to be more specific really is for Google. I can see how if people can't immediately find what they're looking for, they'll get frustrated-- but as long as nobody else does it better, Google's still on top. Seeing as most of the new up-and-comers have decided to focus on advanced searching techniques-- clusters, grouping, stemming, search 'guides', and the like-- I can see how Google might possibly feel that their old "just plain search" model might be somewhat outdated. After all, the Web is HUGE now, and if the user simply types in "chair" there are too many pages about too many widely divergent topics for any search engine to have a hope of giving them precisely what they're looking for. Users, one way or another, are going to have to learn how to ask a decent question in order to get a decent answer. Somehow, the web will have to be organized, because it's too big to simply wade through. Google's searching over three billion (some say it's far more than that and they're just not updating the count on the page); even DMOZ has recently passed the 4-million mark of hand-reviewed sites. I don't know if it's reasonable to expect any more that a poorly-thought-out, one-word query will give you exactly what you're looking for. The general population has learned an immense amount collectively to even be able to use their computers proficiently enough to get to Google to type in their queries-- is it too much to ask them to learn just a little bit more about how to use search engines?
I don't know, I'm just asking. It's interesting to consider.
Edited by Jill, 05 December 2003 - 09:28 AM.