Seth Godin says that “people don’t know how to search”. How true.

Seth brilliantly points out that there are probably a few thousand “bad searches” that are incredibly common and a smart search firm (hello Google) should create custom results for those results to help users get to what they want (and maybe teach them a bit about how to search if they’d like to learn).

Seth’s examples are searches for “shoes” or “web”, but in tracking referrers to Alyson’s site, I’ve found that people also think of search engines as being human.

For example, someone landed on this page because they searched on “can you catch a cold from being out in the cold without a coat… recess in the spring for instince?” And yes, the search did have the four periods, typo, and question mark.

It gives me great joy that the child who did that search (I’m hoping it was a child) took Alyson’s advice and presented it to the teacher or parent that inspired the search.

Another kind of search (the most common traffic driver to Alyson’s site in fact), is people typing into Google. Go figure. Some people really do think Google is the Internet.