Why Store Info When You Can Just Search For It?

from the organization-is-overrated dept

With plenty of companies trying to jump into the search space and take away Google's lead with something "different," it's interesting to note that many people may not realize how people really use search engines. WebProNews is highlighting a new study suggesting that many people use search engines as an alternative to filing away info. That is, they repeat queries all the time, just to find info that they had found before. In fact, 40% of all search queries are repeats. That's probably a lot more than most people imagined -- and it suggests that people are looking at search engines even more as a "second brain" to store info, rather than just as a way to find new information. Why bookmark something when it's probably easier and faster for Google to just find it for you again? Of course, such activities can be dangerous if the search results change, potentially "erasing" the link to a bit of information someone wanted. That's why it's also interesting to note that Google, at least, is now experimenting with a feature to let you store specific links in your own personalized Google results, guaranteeing that they'll be there the next time you search.
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Filed Under: search
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    JSF, 9 Aug 2007 @ 6:22am

    It's sort of an extension of the Albert Einstein quote "Never memorize what you can look up in books".

    I run the same search multiple times for a number of different reasons.

    First, as others have mentioned, sometimes you want to see if there are any new pages associated with the query. This particularly applies to very recent events where new information is coming up frequently. It also applies to some older topics that evolve over relatively long time periods of months or even years.

    Second, there are some categories of stuff I search where if I bookmarked all the pages I would soon need a search function for my bookmarks. A good example of this is error messages/numbers generated by applications. In the course of a month I probably see 100+ error numbers that I need to investigate. Many of them are frequent repeats that you just plain remember after a while, but a good 50% or more are infrequently repeated with weeks or even months in between occurances.

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