Two new studies give further weight to the growing importance of search in our lives. iCrossing, New York, and Harris Interactive interviewed more than 2,300 people and found that 77 percent of adults who research online before making a purchase decision use search engines.
Forty percent of those conducting online research go to search engines first. Still, 57 percent use retailer Web sites to research products before making a decision.
The study also found that the same number of people -- one-third -- search by brand as much they do by general category of product and/or service. Men use search engines more when researching a product: 69 percent compared to 65 percent of women.
Separately, Yahoo Search Marketing looked at the search behavior of college students and found that they rely more on search engines than any other media--including magazines, newspapers, and television ads.
81 percent of college students rated search engines as the best source of information; friends and family were rated best by 64 percent of students, while just 34 percent said traditional media was their best source of information.