More and more Americans are googling and yahooing their way through life, according to a new survey which shows a massive increase in the use of Internet search engines over two years.
Nearly 60 million Americans every day were using such programs, which help surfers navigate the Internet, in September this year, according to research published by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
That represents a 55 percent increase in the roughly 38 million people who were using search engines in June 2004 and equates to 41 percent of the US Internet population.
The rising trend of search engine use is now approaching email as the most popular internet activity. Pew said that on any given day 52 percent of American internet users were sending and receiving mail.
"Most people think of the Internet as a vast library," said Pew's Lee Rainie.
"They increasingly depend on search engines to help them find everything from information about the people who interest them, to transactions they want to conduct, organizations they need to deal with, and interesting factoids that help them settle bar bets and backyard arguments."
The Pew investigation used information from comScore Media Metrix, an Internet audience measuring service to conduct the survey.
Latest comScore data shows that Google was the most used search engine in October this year with 89.8 million unique visitors, followed by Yahoo Search 68 million and Microsoft's MSN Search with 49.7 million.