I've noticed Google getting less and less effective all the time. I do a search, and 3/4 of the sites are 'fake' results that send me to ad pages with their own (totally useless) search results.
On important searches, I often spend 10-15 minutes tuning my query to help eliminate those sites so I can get to the real results.
For me it's the same, but for a different reason: it's Google breaking their own searches. Specifically, how they silently replace your actual keywords with what they think you mean.
Remember Altavista? How you had to do +foo -bar +baz +frotz to get any decent results? That's Google today for me. Keywords have gone from "require all" to "require some... maybe", so if I search for foo bar baz I'll get tons of results with just one or two of the keywords (and sometimes none!). So I have to prefix them all: +foo +bar +baz. Or I search for just foo, which Google might then decide means that I actually want to search for not just foo but also foob and fooc. But I wasn't interested in any of those! I was interested in what I searched for. So I have to search for +foo instead. And that might not be all: depending on Google's mood, I might still have to override even more false positives with +foo -foob -fooc (which means that I will start introducing false negatives as well). And sometimes.. even that isn't enough - occasionally, even that will be overridden by a "this is what we think you mean, and we know better than you" search, where it searches for some completely unrelated keyword.
Hey Google: the "Did you mean..." prompt was great. Silently replacing all my search terms and making me jump through hoops to use your search is not. It's fucking awful interaction design.
Oh, and while we're at it, you apparently have time to spend on on introducing completely unnecessary, CPU-draining shit like that awful DHTML fade (the reason I no longer whitelist google.com in Noscript) but not any to spend on fixing your completely broken non-English searches (they work for some altogether different alphabets, but a whole bunch of extended Latin alphabet searches are completely impossible)...