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Pew Internet report: Search engine use grows

Search engine use continues to grow, with 49% of Internet users saying they use search engines on a typical day, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report released this week.


“People are basically putting themselves in the driver’s seat,” said Susannah Fox, an associate director at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. “They have ideas about what they want to find vs. waiting for it to be served up to them.”


The tracking survey took place from April 8–May 11. The report is based on interviews with more than 2,000 adults age 18 and older. 


The project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center, first began asking users about their search engine habits in January of 2002. At that time, only 29% of Internet users surveyed said they used a search engine on a typical day. 


In comparison, 60% of Internet users say they use e-mail on a typical day, according to a survey conducted in December of 2007. In addition, the report released this week states that 39% of Internet users check news and 30% check the weather on a typical day.


According to the report, people who use search engines on a typical day tend to be “socially upscale,” with at least some college education and incomes of more than $50,000 per year. Younger Internet users are more likely to search on a typical day than older users. And, men are more likely to use a search engine on an average day when compared to women, the report states.

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