Did Google affect how I search on search engines?

I use Google in 99.9% of my searches on internet. I use it so often, that sometimes it’s just to the URL of a site I know very well, but I can’t spell the address or do not recall exactly (I can never spell the URL of delicious, for example).

I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied with the results and most of the times I find what I am looking for within the first 3-5 results. This could be simply because Google is good, isn’t this the reason why we all use it?

Nevertheless, from time to time I try other search engines such as Ask or Yahoo! and hardly find better results. I’d say that on an average I find worse results.
Still, I have friends who use Ask or Yahoo! and say they are much better.

Now I wonder: “Are the results on Google better just because Google is better, or is it because I am so used to it that my search terms work well with Google? What if my search syntax was optimized for Google-searches? What if Ask had a much better catalogue, but used a different categorization?”

Of course, search engines should return the best result not matter what, but if my keywords are not “natural”, but adapted to the approach Google has to content, then it’s not the search engine that is wrong (maybe). So how can I objectively judge the quality of the results? Also, won’t the quality of results always be subjective?

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