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When Search Engines Become Answer Engines

USEIT -- Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox refers to search engine optimisers as "freeloaders." He's distressed that people skim over the top of websites, using search engines to lift relevant information from the site, index it inside the search engine, then serve it to the curious.

Many potential customers pull the information they need from search engines instead of directly from web sites. When people want information, they depend on search services for guidance. Nielsen found that users started at a search engine 88% of the time when he gave them a new task to complete on the Web.

The website is becoming a less prominent locus of experience as people use search engines to bring up answers to their current questions. How can sites cope with masses of freeloaders?

Jakob Nielsen --"When Search Engines Become Answer Engines"