Using a search engine is now the number two activity for web users, research has found.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number of US web users taking advantage of search engines has risen sharply since mid-2004 – from 30 per cent of the US web population in July 2004 to its current level of 41 per cent, which translates to some 59 million Americans.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project also found that those likely to spend more time on search engines tend to be in their 30s and well off.
The report added: "Those who use search engines on an average day tend to be heavy internet users. They are much more likely to have broadband connections than dial-up connections; to log on to the internet several times a day; and to have spent considerable time online during the day."
Good news then for search giant Google. Recent research by Nielsen/Netratings found that Google now has some 46 per cent market share in search, double that of its nearest rival Yahoo! Search, with 23 per cent.
Despite the increase in traffic, searching has yet to catch up with the top internet function of email. According to the report, around 52 per cent of all US internet users are pressing the 'send' button on an average day.