Forty-one percent of 1,577 Internet users surveyed by Pew in September and October reported that they had visited a search engine the previous day. When Pew conducted a similar survey in June of 2004, just 30 percent of Web users said the same. In fact, the only Web activity more popular than searching was using e-mail; about 52 percent of U.S. Web users told Pew researchers they had sent or received e-mail on the day before being surveyed this fall.
Heavy use of search engines correlated with broadband connections, according to the report. Seventy percent of survey respondents who had broadband at home and work reported that they used a search engine the day before the survey, compared to just 33 percent of those with dial-up connections.
Fifty-one percent of Web-using Gen-Xers bewteen the ages of 29 and 40 used a search engine on a typical day, compared to 42 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 28, 39 percent of Internet users between the ages of 51 and 59, and 37 percent of those between 41 and 49.
Search use also seems to correspond with affluence. On a typical day, 52 percent of Web users in households earning at least $75,000 used search engines, compared to just 29 percent of those with household incomes of less than $30,000.
Google Web Search had 75 million unique visitors last month, followed by Yahoo! Search (68 million), MSN Search (49.7 million), Ask Jeeves (43.7 million), and AOL Search (36.1 million), according to comScore.