Search engines are a lovely thing. If you need something, you search for it (in most cases you google it) and the ideal website magically comes up. People don’t bother adding websites to their Favourites, they know they can search for it if they need it.

I’m getting a bit too used to this. But it’s very much dependent on your search string; searching for the right text can make the difference between finding the right thing or not. I usually don’t bother looking in the second page of the search results unless I’m after something quite obscure - if it’s not in the first page then I’m probably using the wrong search string.

These thoughts came to me when I made an unsuccessful search that astounded me. I visited the Wimbledon website a couple of weeks ago to try to get tickets for next year. I glanced around and didn’t bookmark it, so today I searched for it again. I first tried “wimbledon tickets 2008″, expecting this to return the page in the official website with the relevant information. It didn’t. Actually, if I hadn’t been there before I might have confused the first result ( to be the official one. Searching for “wimbledon” returned the official website on the first hit. It just goes to show that searching for the wrong thing, and especially text that companies look for in order to make money, like (re)selling tickets, can throw you off quite a bit.

Almost as an afterthought, I wondered where the official Wimbledon website appears on the search for “wimbledon tickets 2008″. I was astounded to find it in page 21, a shocking 204th place in the search results list! Makes one wonder whether the search results may be gamed, doesn’t it?