According to the IAB, 87% of online sessions commence with a search.
The reason Google is as powerful as it is is because it delivers relevance - the Pagerank citation principle is a social filtering algorithm [Google has always been 2.0].
But it's not infallible.
Search data for TIGS provides an insight into what people are actually interested in and how they are getting here - I wonder what the person who found it via the above search term was actually looking for...
Google's value derives from all of us and our links.
So it'll be intereresting to see how the role of search engines will have to evolve should Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and the world wide web, ever realise his vision of the semantic web, sometimes called web 3.0 [uggh].
The semantic web project is designed to bring meaning to the internet - all documents would be tagged with relevant, machine readable meta data that would describe what they are. So information would begin to be self sorting - they describe this as a form of weak AI - and people would no longer arrive at TIGS looking for "who steals from death".
Which is a shame really. The flipside to increased relevance is less randomness.
And randomness takes you to places you would never have got to otherwise.