Over half of all US online adults use search engines most or every time they are online, but less than half of search engine users know the difference between natural and paid search results, according to the "How America Searches" study launched from icrossing, a search engine marketing agency, which commissioned the study from Harris Interactive.
"How America Searches" takes a look at why people turn to search engines, which engines have the most loyal users, how well people can distinguish natural and paid results, and other questions.
Some highlights from "How America Searches" include:
- Over half (53%) of all US online adults use search engines most or every time they are online, trailing only e-mail and general surfing
- Researching specific topics is the #1 search activity (by 88% of search engine users), followed by getting directions/maps (75%) and looking for news/info about current events (64%)
- 56% of internet users do not know the difference between natural and paid search listings; males are more confident in reporting they know the difference--over 50% of males say they know, compared to about one-third of females
- 54% of frequent Google users report knowing the difference between natural and paid listings; the next closest group is Yahoo! users at 42%