The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of just under one-half (49%). With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of internet users who use email, arguably the internet’s all-time killer app, on a typical day.
One reason for the increase in search use is the quality of information available on topic specific sites. People can find a site-specific search engine on “just about every content-rich website that is worth its salt.”
With a growing mass of web content from blogs, news sites, image and video archives, personal websites, and more, internet users have an option to turn not only to the major search engines, but also to search engines on individual sites, as vehicles to reach the information they are looking for.
Can you say niche law blog with a clearly displayed search feature retrieving highly relevant searches in a hundredth of a second?
Perhaps of interest to law firms is the demographic makeup of those using Internet search.
- More likely to be socially upscale
- At least some college education
- Incomes over $50,000 per year
- More likely to be internet users with at least six years of online experience
- Younger internet users are more likely than older users to search
Also of interest is how search use compares to other Internet daily activities.
Note the increasing use of the net for news (39%) and social networking (13%). Both represent opportunities for savvy lawyer PR/marketing and networking through news syndication (blogs, Twitter) and social networking (LinkedIn, Martindale’s Legal Connection, Legal OnRamp etc).