88% of search engine users research specific topics, 75% need maps, 64% look for current events

John Battelle and Chris Sherman at SearchEngineWatch both discuss a new report by icrossing on search patterns of US Web users. 53% of all US online adults use search engines most or every time they are online, trailing only e-mail and general surfing. Researching specific topics is the #1 search activity (by 88% of search engine users), followed by getting directions/maps (75%) and looking for news/info about current events (64%). 56% of internet users do not know the difference between natural and paid search listings; males are more confident in reporting they know the difference: over 50% of males say they know, compared to about one-third of females. 54% of frequent Google users report knowing the difference between natural and paid listings; the next closest group is Yahoo! users at 42%.