The results returned by search engines have improved significantly over prior engines BUT are still abysmal in so many cases. Disagree? Here are a few simple queries you can make to see the poor quality of results:
Note that many of the results returned are not about search engines primarily but rather about search engine optimization. The content that is available is oftentimes quite brief, outdated, and of poor quality.
This isn't to say there aren't any quality results BUT there are certainly better results that could appear.
Choose whatever product or service you like - refrigerator, laptop, bed, headphones, etc. Notice many of the generic sites that dominate the top listings - who are these articles written by? Did they actually use the product? Oftentimes the reviews are simply a compilation of what reviewers said on Amazon and not from any actual use of the product.
Note also that while many of the reviews are quite lengthy the actual substance is insignificant. The text is long to appeal to search engines, the content is unnecessarily wordy for humans.
Its easy to end up reading the same/similar review on multiple sites before finding unique content.
This is certainly not the ideal.
Note how the results are often dominated by the organization itself (not entirely unreasonable). With many organizations (e.g. news) there are also numerous duplicates from sites that are syndicated (do we really want to see the same story as published on CNN and APNews?).
Sure one can use query operators to refine the results (but how many people do you know who use them...are even aware that they exist?) but especially with any content that is syndicated the number of sites that need to be excluded can become quite lengthy and must be recreated for each query.