It seems every day Google, and now Yahoo as well, adds more features to its search – first it was phone numbers , then tracking packages, then patents, now it’s whois, flights, UPC codes, VINs, and God knows what else. Read a few pages of Google Hacks, and you’ll realize, you never use even 2% of Google’s power, and, most likely, you never will.
This leads me to wonder, where is this all going? I mean, the fact is, most searchers simply don’t use advanced search features *at all* – not even simple operators like quotes (” black jaguar” cat) or negative inclusion (jaguar -cat). So why are these search sites loading up on features that, honestly, nearly all their users will never take advantage of? Do they think searcher’s habits are going to change? I doubt it. I’d be interested in why you these features are being added with such abandon. Just because they can? Maybe they think folks will be building applications on top of the search platform, or will they do it themselves? Are they expecting that a layer of expert searchers will develop who peddle intermediary services (ie Google Answers)? I mean, I can get as excited as the next guy about the addition of the tilde operator or the “*” function, but….it feels like there is something in aggregate I am missing. Must be the varathane on the floor in the next room, keeping me from grokking the grand plan in all this. Help me out!