Do As The Average User Does.
So, Matt Cutts who works at Google picks up a story about rival search engine Ask and has a little fun at their expense. The story's picked up by Robert Scoble and continues to spread. Nothing wrong with that, but I think it's revealing that the whole event was predicated upon a very geek-oriented mode of searching which failed to reveal the site in question.
That may be the smartest way to instruct a search engine, but it's not the way the vast majority (by which I mean over 99%) of people do their searches - they don't use qualifying operators, heck they generally don't know about using quotation marks. As we all know, among the most searched for words on Google is Yahoo and among the most searched for words on Yahoo is Google.
In all areas, geeky or not, the only valid tests of yours or your competitors' products are those that replicate how regular, time-poor, technophobic citizens interact with them. That's the real lesson here. That and the revelation that my Geek Marketing 101 clearly isn't being read widely enough.