"The search box is everywhere online these days. It's built into Web browsers. It's incorporated into Web sites of all sorts. And it's a major driver of traffic and revenue for Google Inc. and the like.
So it should come as no surprise that nearly half of Internet users conduct a search on a typical day, up from about a third in 2002, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said Wednesday. Search is approaching e-mail as the most popular thing to do on the Internet; about 60 percent use e-mail on any given day.
Users with college degrees, higher incomes and broadband connections are more likely to conduct a search. So are men and younger users.
Firing off queries to search engines seems to be replacing a different kind of Internet starting point that people used to favor: making rounds of checks on previously visited, bookmarked sites.
Whether this shift is making people smarter remains to be seen, of course."
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