For the past 5 years, many have noticed a decline in search results returned by Google and other search engines. The decline is real and is driven by a few factors, including.
Google now returns results based on what their AI thinks your “intention” is. Your query will be partially ignored if what your searching is considered niche to return search results, suited for a general audience.
Commercialisation of the internet has created an industry of “SEO experts” who turn out articles without “substance” but with large word counts and checked for spelling and gramma. You know the article that never answers your question but somehow ranks well on Google.
The worst, however, are AI generated articles. Complete nonsense content automaticity, written in a way, sounds plausible to the AIs used to rank websites on search engines. The articles written by AI are often full of misinformation and barely readable by humans and are just designed to collect AD revenue (I wonder why Google cannot ban AI spam websites…….).
These two points above mean that search engines have “died” as a useful way of researching new topics or finding niche websites.