Searching the Internet for information has replaced many other information sources. Printed road maps, dictionaries and encyclopedias seldom get used anymore. We simply punch our request into a search engine and let it find it for us. However, in spite of the convenience, we often get frustrated with our online information gathering friends.
- Mega results. – This is the biggest complaint. We get way more information pulled up than we can possibly look at and the exact piece of information we need is buried somewhere among those tens of thousands of hits you found for our query. It can be quite overwhelming.
- Unrelated results. When we search for ‘bear rugs’, we don’t want to have to look through sites that about bear habitat and men’s hairpieces. We would like the sites to be more specific.
- Ranking. Why can’t the sites with the most pertinent information to the search show up on top? Instead we get the most popular or the one with the best marketing agent, and the site with the most relevant information is on page 10.
- SEO manipulation. This probably relates to number three above. With everyone vying to get on that first page listing, the SEO gurus that know how to manipulate the system get their clients on top, whether they really should be or not.
- Paid advertisers. When search engines place their paid advertisers at the top of the page and force the user to look further down to find the actually search results, users get very frustrated. Every second counts these days, and having to scroll down for the results can be very annoying.
- Outdated Information. This may be the fault of the people posting the information, not the search engines, but it still is a frustration issue. You find old, outdated information for companies coming to the top of the list, instead of newer information that is also available on the web.
- Too many variations. The variations that result between searching the different search engines is also confusing to the end user. Why is a website the first ranking on Google and way down the list on Yahoo?
- Dead links. Growls and cuss words are being expressed around the world when people click on a search result and then find that the link no longer exists. Again, precious seconds are being wasted with non-existent results.
- Word choices. The difficulty of choosing the right word combination to achieve the results that you’re looking for is a frequent cause of irritation. One word group brings up too broad of a list and another one narrows it too far. How can we know what to type in?
- Time consumption. The time spent trying to find the information we want often takes much longer than we anticipate. What we thought would be a two-minute search can turn into twenty minutes without even realizing it.
Search engines, like much of the Internet, are received within a love/hate relationship by those using them and also by many of those trying to win their marketing assistance.