Wednesday, 13 August 2008

New research confirms the position of search

Media Week has just published the results of some new research that confirms previous figures that show search is the second-most popular activity on the Internet after email. Data compiled by Pew in the US show that, in terms of online behaviour, the use of search engines has become a primary activity, with 49% conducting web searches every day, coming second to email which 60% of users access every day.

These figures have grown significantly since 2002, when just a third of users searched every day and the percentage of 'at-least-once-a-day searchers' soared by 69% over the past six years. During the same period, the percentage of users checking email every day climbed just 8 points, from 52% to 60%. Other daily activities were visiting news sites (39%) and weather sites (30%). However, despite the huge numbers of users joining the social networking trend, the Pew research showed that only 13% of web users log onto those sites every day.

The report identifies three core reasons for search’s prominence in average users’ lives: accessibility, speed and relevance. Search is now more prevalent on content websites and with a greater mass of information available online, as well as the prominence of Google, search has become more necessary and available to users, who also have better awareness and familiarity with the web than 6 years ago. In addition, with around 55% of Americans using a broadband connection to access the Web, search has become a quicker starting point to find information, products or services online.

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