The Emerging Search Economy
eContent magazine has an article aimed at content providers and has some strange information.
Insiders at Google tell me that they are seeing important shifts in user behavior; many users now put URLs into the Google toolbar search box in order to get to a target site, which suggests that surfers are starting to use search engines as reliable modes of navigation, not just as data harvesting tools.
I have seen this sort of stuff for years, but have definitely not seen an increase in it in the last year or two for sure.
The emerging world of search also introduces wrinkles into an already tricky process of getting your content picked up and noticed by the major engines. Many of these tools now let users tweak and twiddle with the very algorithms by which results are ranked.
Here they mention the Snap thing where you can order the results by most popular.
Anyhoo, the article is worth a read.