You Still Google? That is So Last Week (RedNova)

Whenever I give a workshop or presentation, I ask the people attending to raise their hands if Google is their default search engine. I am always somewhat surprised that at least 80% of the audience still start their search with Google, although it is heartening to see that at least half of librarians and info pros say they routinely use more than one search engine. (And, for the record, my default search engine this week is Yahoo!, although I use Firefox’s pull-down menu to change my toolbar default search engine regularly.)

What I find distressing about this is that most people still consider Google to be the gold standard of search engines. Yes, I like Google-its Map feature works well, Google Scholar is sometimes a quick way to find a copy of an article, and its synonym feature using the tilde (~word) comes in handy. But the backbone of Google’s search-results sorting is still Page Rank, and, frankly, it’s not keeping up with the content available on the Web. Often, finding the most popular sites isn’t what I want; I need to find the most authoritative sites or ones that were evaluated by experts, or I need to look at just one aspect of a topic. (more…)