Home  › Stats › Audience/Traffic

Search Engines Used to Find Self, Others

  |  August 17, 2004   |  Comments

Internet users are searching for more than news, weather and travel information.

The Internet has spawned a population of private investigators, as a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Microsoft found that surfers use search engines to find information about themselves or someone they know.

Amongst the popular search topics such as travel, health, entertainment, current events, news, and weather, are searches for friends, acquaintances, spouses, romantic interests, colleagues, bosses, and clients. The propensity to search for one's self or others differs according to gender, age and geographic location.

Of the 2,231 U.S. respondents, the survey found that more respondents were apt to search for friends than they were for themselves. Nearly half (49 percent) searched for a friend, or a long-lost friend or acquaintance, compared to 39 percent who have looked for themselves, and 29 percent who conducted searches for family members.

How Women and Men Use
Search Engines to Find People
Women Men
Self 35% 43%
Family member 30% 29%
Friend 48% 50%
Romantic Involvement 26% 29%
Someone from work 11% 19%
Other 6% 8%
None 40% 33%
Base: Female =1,181; Male =1,050)
Source: Harris Interactive/Microsoft

Generation X respondents (28 to 39-years old) were more likely to conduct searches for themselves or others than any other age group, while mature adults (59+) were least likely.

Half of the respondents from Seattle reported searching for themselves, while only 39 percent of Los Angeles survey participants admitted to entering their names into a search engine. Los Angeles emerged as the leader among those who searched for someone from work.

Chicago residents were more apt to search for family members (35 percent) than the survey participants in Seattle (33 percent), New York (31 percent), Los Angeles (29 percent), Atlanta (29 percent), and Denver (23 percent). Chicago also led for searches regarding romantic involvements.

When Internet users were not searching for themselves, friends, family or acquaintances, many were looking for celebrities. The Harris Interactive/MSN survey found that Britney Spears, Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kournikova, and Vin Diesel were the most searched for entertainment figures. Women added "Madonna" and "Brad Pitt" to their list of celebrity searches, while men included "Paris Hilton" and "Alyssa Milano".

The Lycos 50 compilation of the most popular search terms since the rankings began in August 1999 included Lopez and Spears, while also adding Pamela Anderson. "Howard Stern" led the Lycos list for the fourth consecutive year as the most popular talk radio personality.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Stats delivers stats headlines to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs