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Do you have an example of a search that doesn't currently find good results, but you suspect it would work if Google worked the way it used to?

That's a rather difficult question to answer. I usually don't remember what I've searched for recently. I'm just relating my general impression, which has gotten much much worse over the past year.

Really it's hard to say because 9 times out of 10 it works fine. Probably even more. Because most of my queries are simple ones. I'd have to go dig through my browsing history, it'd take a lot of effort. I did it once, when Matt Cutts asked a similar question, but right now it's rather late here so I hope you can excuse me :)

One thing I can say, I have tried to diversify my usage of Search Engines in the past, to not just use Google but also Yahoo, Bing, and others. Even changed my default search engine sometimes. But it never stuck. Google just was too good--its speed was a big factor btw, even when the results weren't great, the fact that you could quickly try different queries made up for it. But since a couple of months I find myself more and more going for DDG at the first query--also because if DDG doesn't have my answer it has a convenient link to Google to retry, if Google would have the same I might even still use Google with DDG as a fallback instead :)

Another tweak I did was disable Javascript on the Google result pages. There are a lot of shortcut keys I use in Opera all the time and Google's persistent autofocus was really getting in the way. Especially with the instant-refresh feature, your whole results would change just because you pressed some shortcut key even though the input box wasn't even focused!

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