As of Dec. 17, 2000, search sites accounted for only 6.86% of global referrals, according to WebSideStory's StatMarket, an Internet intelligence service that reports data on global Internet user trends.
According to the results, direct navigation (sites that are typed directly into the browser address bar) and bookmarks together accounted for the largest percentage of referrals, with 47.01% as of the same date.
Internet links accounted for 46.13% - these include banner advertising and other paid links, affiliates, and sponsorships. Search referrals show the percentage of surfers that are referred to websites from search engines.
These figures reflect the global average. Referral percentages tend to vary among country and industry, which StatMarket analyzes separately.
"This data shows two things: That most people already know where they want to go on the Web, and that Internet links, such as banner advertising and affiliates, still remain a very viable way to attract customers," said Geoff Johnston, VP of product marketing for StatMarket.
"This information may cause businesses to rethink the ways in which they acquire new visitors."