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According to this article from Cyber Atlas, a tremendous number of web users still do not know how to search. Also, the most popular search term is \"sex\". I think that the cartoon from the other day says it all. Librarians NEED to be the search engines.\"The study also found that the most popular term people search for online is \"sex.\" Alexa\'s findings are based on an examination of more than 42 million search pages viewed in aggregate by users of the Alexa toolbar at 10 of the Internet\'s leading portals and search engines -- altavista.com, aol.com, excite.com, go.com, google.com, goto.com, lycos.com, msn.com, netscape.com, and yahoo.com -- between March 1999 and January 2001.\"
Read the study here
\"\"Based on the results of this study, we believe that the Web is still a technical hurdle many people have not yet cleared,\" said Matthew Work, vice president of Alexa Research. \"The prevalence of sex-related search terms probably isn\'t a shock to most people, but we were surprised by the number of people that accessed Web sites by entering site names as search terms rather than just typing them in the address field of their browser.\"
Four of the top 10 search terms sought by users in the study were Web site names or addresses. Hotmail -- whether entered as \"hotmail,\" \"hotmail.com\" or \"www.hotmail.com\" -- was the second most popular term sought. Yahoo (including \"yahoo.com\" and \"www.yahoo.com\") was third. EBay (including \"ebay.com\" and \"www.ebay.com\") and AOL (including \"aol.com\" and \"www.aol.com\") were ninth and tenth, respectively. Also among the top 50 were Excite.com, AltaVista, Amazon.com, and MSN.\"
\"This study shows that for many, there\'s a conceptual misunderstanding of how to effectively navigate the Web,\" Work said. \"Some people think that their homepage is the Web, that they have to go through their homepage in order to get to the site they want, without realizing that any Web site can be accessed directly. This notion is supported by our Web traffic popularity rankings, where eight of the top 10 sites are portals and/or search engines.\"
\"Sex-related terms remain quite popular among Internet searches. \"Sex\" was the most popular term for which people searched. Of all the terms searched for online, 0.3289% -- or roughly 1 of every 300 terms -- were \"sex.\" People search for \"sex\" more often than \"games,\" \"music,\" \"travel,\" \"jokes,\" \"cars,\" \"jobs,\" \"weather\" and \"health\" combined. \"Porn\" (along with \"porno\" and \"pornography\") was the fourth most popular search term. \"Nude\" (and \"nudes\"), \"xxx,\" \"Playboy\" and \"erotic stories\" (and \"erotica\") were also among the top 20.\"