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Share Of Surfing Time On Search Still Healthy

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OPA: Consumers Spent More Time On Content, Less On Search, In June from MediaPost alerts us to the fact that the Online Publishers Association's Internet Activity Index had the search category with the "biggest loss" of all surfing categories. Are consumers losing their love of search? Reality check time.

Search has always had the lowest share of time online since the index began in June 2004. Content, Communications and Commerce content categories have been in the double-digits, while search has stayed firmly in the 4 percent range.

Huh? Add up all the time people spend surfing web sites. On average as I calculate it, since June 2004, they spend 4.4 percent of their time each month doing searches. Then they spend much more of their time on the sites they reach through search engines, which isn't surprising at all.

And the fact that the share of time on search engines dipped in June 2005 from 4.7 percent the previous month to 4.3 percent? That means June was a just slightly below the average of 4.4 percent month -- where as May was simply an exceptionally strong month for search. In short, no alarm bells ringing in my mind. Search still looks plenty healthy, according to these figures.

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