The amount of time people spend searching online has increased by 35 percent since 2003, a growth rate second only to the amount of time people spend with content online, which grew by 37 percent, according to the Online Publisher's Association's latest Internet Activity Index.
Content and communications still dominate time spent online in 2007, taking up 47 percent and 33 percent shares respectively. Commerce comes in third for time spent online with 15 percent, and search follows up with a 5 percent share. In 2003, communications trumped content by 12 percentage points, but has since dropped by 28 percent. Commerce remained the most steady, with just a 5 percent drop in time spent online.
The OPA attributes the shift to several factors, including an increase in the volume of content online, the transition of traditionally offline media activities to the Web, and continued broadband adoption. This latter factor has enabled a lift in overall time spent online –- as opposed to share of time spent -- across all four categories studied: content, search, commerce, and communications, according to ClickZ News.
The data has been collected monthly by Nielsen//NetRatings for the OPA since 2003.