Things the search engines can’t help you find

Tonight I have something stuck in my eye.  I’m guessing it’s an eyelash, but I don’t know for sure because I can’t get it out.  I figured that the internet would yield some tips for me, so in between opening my eyes under water and dousing with saline drops, I decided to hit up Google and Windows Live Search.  I tried various combinations of “eyelash”, “eyelid”, “stuck”, “remove”. I even through some desperate pleas at the search engines with plain language queries.

Almost every result I found had to deal with fake eyelashes, makeup, or contact lenses.  The internet failed me tonight.  The problem is that the search engines still see my queries as keywords, and they don’t know what I really mean.  Either that, or there really are no tips on the internet for getting eyelashes out of your eye. I can’t really believe the latter.  The internet is supposed to know everything.

I know I’ve had several of these “the search engines are useless for this” moments in the past.  I’ll try to remember some more.  Does anyone else have any experiences with situations like this? 


3 thoughts on “Things the search engines can’t help you find”

  1. Andy,
    Very good point. I know that Live Q&A and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk should be better at this type of question.I guess the problem is that myself and many others view the search engines as the one and only "window" into the internet. If a search engine can’t find it, then it’s invisible. I’ll have to check out Live Q&A to see if maybe I need to retrain myself. Thanks!
    Rick H.

  2. man… i have something stuck in my eye right now and decided to turn to google just like you… ironicly this is the first website on the list…

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