Internet use is increasing all the time. There are now thought to be over 150 million website on the World Wide Web. The number of Internet users is now almost a quarter of earth’s population; around one and a half billion of a total population of 6.7 billion (approx) use the Internet. Inevitably this means that the amount of search engine usage is also increasing. It is the prime tool used by people looking for a website. If someone doesn’t know a website address or exactly what they are looking for, they will use a search engine.Statistics show that a massive 99% of internet users use search engines – that’s over 1.4 billion people worldwide. 33% of these use search engines on a daily basis. Over half of search engine users use one search engine exclusively, with just over 30% interchanging between different search engines. Between 10 and 15% use different search engines for different purposes; for example one for websites and another for images. The overall numbers using search engines have increased dramatically over the last couple of years. There was a 38% increase between April 2008 and April 2009.
Google dominates the search engine world. Between 60 and 70% of searches are performed using Google, with Yahoo and Bing currently the second and third most popular. Bing is Microsoft’s new search engine, and is gaining in popularity. The recent merger between Microsoft and Yahoo means that between them their market share has shot up, but Google still lies out in front. This merger does mean they could be more of a threat though.
Search Engines can have many uses. Traditionally they were mainly used to find information on the World Wide Web. There are now many other purposes for search engine’s though. With many business having online stores an increasing number of people are purchasing products online. Holiday bookings and price comparison are two other popular online activities than can start with a search. 75% of people now search online for products before buying. This may be to find information on a product, compare prices, or actually purchase something. Price comparison sites are becoming more widely used all the time. 62% of people wanting information on local activities now search online and 45% of those looking for flight and hotels use search engines for at least part of the process.
One area that has increased with regard to the search engines in recent times is video search, which has doubled. 90% of those aged between 16 and 19 are shown to look for videos online on a regular basis. This number decreases for higher age groups, but is still around half for people over the age of fifty-five. You Tube’s success has got a lot to do with this, and they are now one of the world’s best know internet brands.
As the Internet continues to grow, so will people’s reliance on search engines. It is an ever increasing part of our daily lives, and the upward trend is expected to continue.