Search engines have become an increasingly important part of the online experience of American internet users. The most recent findings from Pew Internet & American Life tracking surveys and consumer behavior trends from the comScore Media Metrix consumer panel show that about 60 million American adults are using search engines on a typical day.
These results from September 2005 represent a sharp increase from mid-2004. Pew Internet Project data from June 2004 show that use of search engines on a typical day has risen from 30% to 41% of the internet-using population, which itself has grown in the past year. This
means that the number of those using search engines on an average day jumped from roughly 38 million in June 2004 to about 59 million in September 2005 – an increase of about 55%. comScore data, which are derived from a different methodology, show that from September 2004 to September 2005 the average daily use of search engines jumped from 49.3
million users to 60.7 million users – an increase of 23%.
This means that the use of search engines is edging up on email as a primary internet activity on any given day. The Pew Internet Project data show that on a typical day, email use is still the top internet activity. On any given day, about 52% of American internet users are sending and receiving email, up from 45% in June of 2004.