diberry - 3:49 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
BeeDeeDubbleU, I think we can expect users to be as savvy as they need to be to get what they want. My non-techy friends all add "tail" to their searches when they don't get what they want.
bsand715, agreed. Another problem is that the web used to be almost pure information searched by geeks. Now it's a little of everything being searched by all sorts of people. "Door knobs" could mean the searcher wants the history of door knobs, how they work, where to buy some, or beautiful pictures of them... or it could have just recently become the name of a band, business, TV show...
I really think at some point the engines are going to have to abandon the dream of reading our minds and move toward more user instruction. Like, you put in door knobs, and it actually asks you, "Do you want to buy door knobs, see images of door knobs..." It's moving a bit in that direction with the tabs at the top, though I'm not sure many non-geeks ever notice those. And Google's "More" tab filters (flights, videos, recipes, etc.) don't work for me overall. The discussion one helps me narrow down when I want to read real people talking about their experience rather than Wikipedia's fact-checking on it, but the others filter out a lot of stuff that I personally would have preferred to include.
Instead of putting those filters at the top, they should be part of the search experience - something you have to mark before hitting "enter." And yes, I know searchers might be annoyed, but they're already being annoyed at putting in a term and getting all sorts of stuff they weren't looking for, that they could have found without Google.