Flawed Online Searches Cost Businesses $31 Billion Last Year

According to a survey released by FIND/SVP, 84% of business executives feel that Web searches -- using the generally consumer-centric search engines now available --take longer than they should due to poor results. It is estimated that the loss of productive time using search engines to conduct online research cost businesses $31 billion last year.

From eMarketer.com.


Promotion opportunity! Promotion opportunity! The businesses obviously need information/library people to

1. do searches FOR them to sift and give them the sites that ARE worthwhile

2. give them access to OTHER resources (like ... maybe... BOOKS!!!!)

An excellent observation--funny too. Thanks.

"It is estimated that the loss of productive time using search engines to conduct online research cost businesses $31 billion last year."

Where do they come up with these numbers? Why does a number of business executive using poor research techniques constitute a drain on business? This seems like just another abuse of statistics for fun and profit. :P

We as professionals understand that before searching for information one needs to define what is actually needed. After this determination a search strategy needs to be developed to maximize results. All this means a 21s century version of the reference interview. People who idolize technology and fail to understand its limitations have a belief that merely sitting down at the computer will automatically find the needed information. The librarian's mind is still the ultimate search engine. The computer is a machine with no thinking beyond what is asked of it. In our profession the computer expands the potential results of a well defined strategy. People look at the Internet as "intellectual fast food". Give your order and and get your food. This heavy dependency on fast results breeds wasted time and diminished intellectual pursuit. We are still very much needed, we just need to repackage what we do to conform to technological advancements

Yes, to get good search results, one needs to define the information need and then develop an effective search strategy. This applies whether we are searching the library OPAC or the internet. It is naive to believe that the library or the Internet will provide all the answers we want all the time. It has to recognised that neither the library OPAC or the internet is perfect without any limitations. It also has to be remembered that people have limitations, so before blaming Internet, maybe the person doing the search is more to blame.