- Search results alone don't make a site popular. Everyone started using Google because it was fast and didn't have adverts all over the place. Now it's even lighter, by the looks of it.
- Good points about how providing access is alone not enough to make a difference. Training is needed too, but where should that training come from - whose responsibility is that?
- I find the company's position quite interesting. Yes, it's a privately-owned company, but really, if it was any other way then would Google work quite as well? When it floats, will the responsibility to shareholders put an external factor on Google that didn't exist before, influencing its behaviour towards money rather than user performance? If it were a public body (a NPO) then would it be able to attract the same quality of staff and researchers? It seems to be a rare company that a). knows what its doing, and b). isn't afraid to experiment - indeed, actively encourages it. Doesn't a body of people's internal culture influence outcomes more than the economic management thereof?
- Could Google act as a "meta Search Engine", in that it could point to places that are likely to hold the information you are looking for? e.g. If it knows a forum is on a particular topic, but doesn't have access to that forum for log-in reasons, could it point human users to the forum and let them do further searching once they've signed on?