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A new study highlights the importance of having a visible Internet presence. Nearly half of all web users use online search on a typical day, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a unit of Pew Research Center.
On a typical day, 49 percent of U.S. Internet users use search technology to either find websites or search within a particular site, the study found. That is up from about 30 percent in 2004 and 40 percent in 2005.
Past increases in online search activity, such as in 2004, probably stemmed from media buzz about search engines and the early rise of Google, the Pew analysts said. More recently, the growth may be a result of more websites offering a search function as well as the increase in the number of homes with broadband Internet access, they pointed out.
"Users can now expect to find a high performing, site specific search engine on just about every content rich website," Pew researchers said, adding, "of all the demographic variables we analyzed, the presence of a home broadband connection had the strongest relationship with a user's propensity to use a search engine on a typical day."
The Pew study also noted that the use of Internet search rises along with education and income. Among consumers with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more, at least 56 percent search on a typical day, compared with less than 40 percent among those with annual incomes under $50,000.
Two thirds, 66 percent of college graduates are likely to search on a typical day. By contrast, just 32 percent of consumers with no more than a high school diploma do so with the same regularity.
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