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Search and Email Still Rule the Web, but Social Networking Rising

August 16, 2011
  |  10,684 views

Since 2002, search and email have been the most popular online activities in the US and remain so today, according to a new report by Pew Research.

But the most dramatic development online in recent years has been the meteoric rise of social networking, with the use of such sites among online adults increasing to 65% in 2011, from just 11% in 2005. 

Even so, search and email dominate today's Internet: 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and the same percentage (92%) use email.

Moreover, search and email have been the most popular online activities over the past nine years: In 2002, 85% of online adults used search, while 93% used email, compared with reading news online (68%) and buying online (61%).


Meanwhile, reading news online (76%) ranks as the third-most popular activity, overtaking online buying (71%), though that activity appears to be rebounding after a 2010 low.

Below, additional findings from Pew's 2011 report on popular online activities, issued by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Daily Email and Search Use 


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  • by Nick Stamoulis Wed Aug 17, 2011 via web

    If anything, this data should tell marketers that we have to take an integrated approach to our online marketing. Email and search are still incredibly important, even though social media has grown by leaps and bounds. You can't ignore the old tactics just because something new and shiny has come along!

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