Vertical search vs. Google

I have blogged in the past about how Google's PageRank algorithm is providing decreasingly useful search results, and how vertical search is much more targeted and useful. The main issue here is that most searches are context-driven, for example when you type in a word and hit search, are you looking to buy something, a definition, or a review?

The vast majority of my searches are vertical searches from the Firefox search toolbar. I have installed the following search engines into the dropdown:

Google Maps
WhoIs Lookup
Mycroft (to find more search engines to add!)

For example, if I hear of a new artist on the radio and want to check out more tracks, I select Songza. If I want to check out their fan presence I select MySpace. And if I want to buy tracks or the album, I select Amazon. Picking the search vertical and then typing the search term is much more efficient than typing in the search term, looking at what Google returns, processing the results, and then going from there.

Although I have an engineering-oriented mindset when approaching search, there must be quite a few people performing searches in a similar way since both Firefox and IE have dedicated prime toolbar real estate to an extensible search box. Why wade through an unpredictable, interim web page when you can go straight to what you're looking for?