Statistics about what people are currently doing online make up some useful info for anyone that maintains an online presence for their business. Familiarizing yourself with Internet statistics is a good way to stay on top of trends and to stay connected with the interests and profiles of your current and potential customers. But it can be difficult to track down and keep up with all the blogs out there that quote Internet usage statistics. Most of them give a few pieces of information at a time, and many are now outdated.
In the interest of providing an easy-to-scan snapshot of what current Internet usage looks like, here are some interesting statistics compiled from some of the leading Internet research organizations, with the dates they were published:
- Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. (Pew Internet report, Why Americans Use Social Media; Nov. 2011)
- Nearly half (44.8%) of the world’s population of Internet users are in Asia. Europe (22.1%) takes second place, with North America (12.0%) following up in third. (Internet World Stats, Internet Usage Statistics; Dec. 2011)
- More than 50% of each generation of American adults (beginning at age 18) who currently use the Internet, use Search. Each group also uses Search as one of their most common online activities, second only to Email. (Pew Internet infographic, Generations 2010: Trends in Online Activities; Dec. 2010)
- The top 5 downstream websites (traffic referrals) for the week ending Feb. 4, 2012 were: 1. Facebook 2. YouTube 3. Gmail 4. Wikipedia 5. Yahoo! Mail (Hitwise, Industry Clickstream; Feb. 2012)
- In a study of the brain’s response to website content, applied to search and conversion trends, Neurofocus reports that memory scores are higher when stimuli are personally meaningful and provide opportunities for learning, linking Relevance to Memory Retention (Neurofocus, The Premium Experience: Neurological Engagement on Premium Websites; Jan. 2012)
- The active cognitive engagement achieved by online experiences, mixed with a degree of emotional engagement that rivals TV, makes websites with social elements a particularly effective advertising opportunity (Neurofocus, The Premium Experience: Neurological Engagement on Premium Websites; Jan. 2012)
- Of the ten most popular web brands in the U.S. for 2011, five were search engines, while the other five featured prominent internal search engines on their sites (Nielsen Net Ratings, Top 10 U.S. Web Brands in 2011; Dec. 2011)
This list of Internet usage statistics is by no means complete nor comprehensive. But hopefully you’ll find it informative in the areas it does highlight, and an interesting look at where Search stands in current figures of online activity.