Search: Take it or leave it?

Rob Hof

Search is often considered one of the very few online activities, ranking right up there with e-mail, that people can't live without. But surprisingly, a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project paints a very different picture. Half of searchers say they could go back to other ways of finding information, and an unimpressed 17% could give up Web search tomorrow. Searchers are also remarkably unaware of how search really works. About 62% of them don't know the different between raw and sponsored search results--even though they're usually labeled clearly. It's another reminder that this new medium we call the Web could take many more years to become the integral part of people's lives that we early adopters already assume it is.

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