I manage the search engines at a large corporation, and I can tell you that I get a LOT of negative feedback from folks complaining about the number of results that are returned.
The #1 complaint is often "Too many results! For example: 5,462 results for the word 'policy'?" How do you expect me to go through that many results?"
Mark Hurst said:
I never liked seeing how many results a search turned up. I don't want 3,000 results, I want ONE. MINE.
"How do you know what (changed) query gives you the best result (the answer to the question you're looking for)?" - When you find the best result then you know.
The only real way to search for a hard to find piece of information is to think of a phrase that would appear on the page and try it out.
Regarding your desire to see that ONE result that best matches your request... I couldn't agree more... In order to get that ONE result that satisfies you, you have to know exactly what the best Google search is. You need to know the exact order, the exact tense of the combination of words you are looking for…
"…I don't want 3,000 results, i want ONE. MINE." - would be nice but it's unrealistic.
… BTW Has anyone ever looked passed the first 100 results?
My Sum Up:
There are users who complain that search engines give them too many results.
(See also my posting about my-hall-of-frustration )
There are users who desire one right result.
There are users who think it is possible to create one right result, others think it's unrealistic.
I think we have to mark this as a target and ask ourselves how to get there.
I'm sure that QT/Search is a step in the right direction. since it retrieves only few results in which the search words appear in every chunk.
I'll try in the future to build a version that will choose the best answer from QT/Search SERP and give the user only one answer.
In case there is no such answer it will notify the user about it– that will also be only one answer – NO.