“The easier it is to find places with good information, the less time users will spend visiting any individual website. This is one of many conclusions that follow from analyzing how people optimize their behavior in online information systems.” Jakob Nielsen —Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster (Alertbox)
I’m guessing Nielsen has noticed that lots of people have been writing and thinking critically about Google lately. This article isn’t really about Google at all — it’s an introduction to information foraging, and uses “cute” subheadings that extend the metaphor.
I think it’s great that Nielsen has provided such a useful introduction to the concept, but people who clicked on the link in order to read what Jakob the Usability Guru has to say about Google will probably be a disappointed. Maybe he should have written two articles instead — one that offers the introduction to information foraging, and another that begins with the assumption that reader already knows about information foraging, and thus is able to appreciate the following (which is buried deep in the article):
Information foraging predicts that the easier it is to find good patches, the quicker users will leave a patch. Thus, the better search engines get at highlighting quality sites, the less time users will spend on any one site.