Pew found that the use of search engines, both the large generic kind and the small site specific kind, has risen dramatically since 2002. Where the use of email on a daily basis rose just 15 percent, the use of search rose 69 percent.
The best part is Pew gives us the demographic information to go with their study.
Those who are using search engines on an average day are more likely to be socially upscale, with at least some college education and incomes over $50,000 per year. They are more likely to be Internet users with at least six years of online experience and to have their homes wired for fast Internet connections.
Younger Internet users are more likely than older users to search on a typical day, and men are more likely than women to search on an average day, Pew reported. And those who use broadband connections at home are significantly more likely than those who use dial-up to have ever tried using search engines at all, by 94 percent to 80 percent.
With the explosion of content on the web, more and more users are integrating search into their daily activities with the expectation that utilizing this tool will garner the information they are looking for from an otherwise impenetrable mountain of information. Thus far major search engines have been able to answer this call (from the user’s standpoint) and each successful return of relevant information from a search query builds trust with the search engine and warrants it’s use the next time the user is seeking assistance.
As we tell all of our clients, just having a website does not mean it will generate traffic or dollars to the bottom line. Your website must be functional and findable.