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Great, now I know the name of the plague that hit me on 4th of september: Hummingbird
Increasingly often, I find myself asking friends for a site that might have what I'm after and using the engines to find PEOPLE who can advise me rather than asking the engines to advise me directly.
Search isn't dead. It may be frustrating to many of us (as site owners, SEOs, or users), but it's very much a part of everyday life on the Web, and there's no evidence that search traffic is on the decline.
Drill down further and try to find out which browsers lost most traffic. For me it is 90% of Safari and I believe it is related to iOS 7 update of the iPhone.
Dumbing down search is NOT going to bring these people into the fold.
The dumbing down is an anecdotal observation. A lot of it's due to the brand dominance problem which inherently makes the SERPs look incredibly lazy. Even the older Boomers I know feel like a cluster of Amazon results insults their intelligence.
Just for the record I am with Diberry, the younger generation are bypassing Google. They find it slow and annoying to find anything but they think the same of Bing.
How do you look for information via Facebook? Suppose you want to find information on how to become a doctor. How can Facebook help you out with that?
My understanding from my teacher friends (who high school students) kids are actually moving from using Facebook to Twitter.
I think search is going to splinter into multiple ways of finding stuff on the net, and things will change all the time.