diberry - 3:05 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)
Netmeg, if you got a really decent sample size, I think the results would be all over the place with no clear majority. I do know people who search like your mother, but my mother and Boomer friends - who are far from tech savvy - have concluded Google is just an unnecessary stop on the way to about 5 big sites like Amazon, and have bookmarked the big sites so they can bypass Google. This is without my influence or help.
My young friends who are not especially tech savvy prefer social to search. Like your mother, they too just want an answer and aren't all particular about sources, but they'd rather get shoutouts on Facebook in response to a question than go through a dry, boring search engine.
I think actually Google's challenge is that they can't be everything to everybody. The web has gotten so big that no single index can hold it all and serve every purpose equally well. All search engines are standing on a shifting landscape.