Search has become a way of life. Sadly, we have become dependent on search to the detriment of better ways to find information. Google has spoiled us, made us lazy and monetized that all at the same time.
PC search tools used to be really bad, so it truly was the option of last resort. If you had to search your disk drive for a file, it took forever to complete the search and the results were generally pretty bad especially if you had to search based on the content of the file.
The fact that YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world is fascinating. It certainly does help people learn how to do things. Video demonstrations on how to do something are so much more effective where visuals make all the difference.
But overall search is still awful…It is not that you don’t get results quickly, but because information gets outdated quickly on the web. You often stumble on old information that takes you a while to realize is outdated or you get redirected to a replacement page that is not exactly relevant to your original search.
The current alternative to search is the use of social networks. Using your network of contacts can be a great way to find out new information from sources of varying degrees of reliability.
But if search were perfect then I guess we would have just about everything figured out. One correct answer for every query and one correct way to get things done.
The world with perfect search would be a world without any innovation, change or variance. This leaves us in the world where we are left with search plus judgement to find things out and make decisions.