Jeeves was a fictional character created by what has become an ‘also ran’ in the cut throat business of search. He served a vital purpose to search because he encouraged participation by people who didn’t quite get the concept of search query. His influence is still felt today even though he retired years ago.
When I was checking stats on my environmental blog this morning I saw evidence of this phenomenon. Somebody asked Google what is the best choice for a toilet seat molded wood or plastic? I know that ranking number one for that query is not going to bring me much traffic, but it’s kinda cool that the person posing the question can get a relevant answer. I have to wonder if they got a more relevant answer than they would have if they had used conventional search query logic.