November 23, 2005, 12:00 AM

Search engines closing in on e-mail as a primary online activity

The use of search engines is closing in on e-mail as a primary Internet activity, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and comScore Networks.

 

The use of search engines is closing in on e-mail as a primary Internet activity, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and comScore Networks Inc.

On an average day in September, 41% of the Internet-using population used search engines, up from 30% in June 2004. In comparison, on any given day in September, about 52% of U.S. Internet users sent and received e-mail, up from 45% in June 2004, the report said.

In September, about 59 million adults used a search engine on an average day, compared with 38 million in June 2004, a 55% increase, the study found. ComScore, whose data is derived using a different methodology, found that on an average daily basis 60.7 million adults used search engines in September, up 23% from 49.3 million users in September 2004.

Consumers who use search engines are more likely to have broadband connections than dial-up connections, according to the report. 54% had broadband at home, 57% at work, and 70% at home and work. 33% had dial-up at home.

Search engine users also are more likely to be in their 30s-members of the GenX cohort, according to Pew. Of GenXers, 51% use search engines, compared with 42% of GenYers (ages 18 to 28), 37% of younger Baby Boomers (ages 41-50), 39% of older Baby Boomers (ages 51-59), 31% of Matures (ages 60-69), and 25% After Workers (ages 70+).

Consumers who use search engines also are more likely to have college degrees and live in households earning more than $75,000, Pew said. They also are more likely to be white or English-speaking Hispanics than African-American.

The Pew Internet findings were based on a nationally representative telephone survey of 2,251 American adults, including 1,577 Internet users, between Sept. 13 and Oct. 14. The comScore data was based on the browsing and transaction behavior of 1.5 million U.S. consumers.

 

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