These limitations to traditional search engines pose a problem which is growing as more and more stuff becomes available. This problem is what many of the social networking sites are helping to solve. We've already learned how to search through billions of web pages using strategic phrases to find almost any website (hmmm, except for many advertising agency websites because they build them entirely in Flash... but that's a different newsletter). But this doesn't help us discover sites we're not looking for, but are better than the ones we are looking for. It also doesn't help us choose from among all the options we do find.
So, is there anything else on the web, besides web pages, that could possibly help us with this problem? There is. It's the billions of people who look at web pages. Every day people click, read, evaluate and pursue information online. Back to our doctor example, imagine if you could tap into the collective judgment of every person in your town with regard to who you should go to for medical care. If you could know from each person's experience who they like and dislike, who's done a good job and who to avoid, you'd likely identify a good doctor. That would be nice, wouldn't it? But of course that's impossible.
Now imagine if you could tap into the collective judgment of every person who ever looked at a particular website and, having considered it's merits and compared it to others, offered their opinion of it. This is not impossible.