back to article Americans' interest rates plummet

Nevermind what the small ads say, it seems Americans just aren’t curious any more. Latest figures from Comscore show those living North of the Rio Grande are amongst the world’s least prolific internet searchers. The web research firm said yesterday that 61 billion searches were carried out worldwide in August, with 755 million …


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  1. Chad H.
    Gates Horns

    No suprise on live search there

    Considering if you want to find something through a MS search engine, you have to type in only keywords that have nothing to do with what you want, No suprise its one of the lowest there.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Not surprising

    ... since most Americans already think that they know everything .

  3. alistair millington


    MS just had 2.1 billion. MS the "also ran" in another statistic.

    But what is Baidu... *quickly goes and types that into google.*

  4. Seeker

    Over how long?

    83.5 searches in a day? a week? a Googleplex?

  5. David Warren
    Thumb Down

    Arrogant Brits

    Ever consider that Americans are actually BETTER than your average euro at searching, and therefore don't have to search repetitively in order to find what they want? Of course not, it is just too easy for you to continue not using your brain and fall back on the standard European reflex of "Americans suck".

  6. John A Blackley

    @David Warren


    never answer ignorant insult with ignorant insult. It's not their fault. It's mostly brainwashing and envy.

  7. CareTaker
    Paris Hilton

    @ David Warren

    Americans DO suck you hypocritical fuckwit.

    <- As illustrated by Miss Hilton here; a perfect example of how the rest of the world views Americans.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @ Alistair

    If you type Baidu into Google does that also kill the internet?

  9. Ross

    Insular Yanks

    @David Warren

    Ever considered that Yanks only go to half a dozen websites? Outside of Fox News, YouTube and MySpace there's not a great deal more they need. They don't realise you can get news from the rest of the world. Hell they don't even realise there is a rest of the world. Most of them believe Al Jazeera is a terrorist propaganda network.

  10. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up

    @David Warren

    "Ever consider that Americans are actually BETTER than your average euro at searching"


    "fall back on the standard European reflex of "Americans suck" "

    You do suck, and you know it. And it's not just us sniffy euros, the rest of the world hates you as well.

    If there was an icon for "Dumb 'mercan", I'd be using it right now.

  11. Shoal Creek
    Paris Hilton

    One thing the statistic doesn't show...

    I wonder how many people use rss, automatic news searches, and other automated methods for receiving information of interest. I bet that if this were calculated, Americans would be found to use this method for finding information more than their European counterparts.

    I can't speak for all Americans, but I have been so busy most days earning a living for my family that I don't have time to sit and type into a search engine. All of the news that is of interest to me is delivered to my E-Mail in-box or posted on my iGoogle page, automatically.

  12. Shoal Creek


    Little of the news I get comes from Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS, as they seldom have anything of relevance to report. Google News sure digs up a lot of interesting stuff from all over the place, though.

  13. Olly

    @Shoal Creek

    So busy you had time to read the whole article, all the comments and then post one yourself?

    Wow, the rest of the world must be so lazy next to your burger chowing selves! Or is it just that America is a heartless wasteland of consumerism presided over by a retarded puppet?

  14. Harry Stottle
    Paris Hilton


    er... am I missing something or do we have a bit of a typo here? (or is that the "point" and I'm being dense?)

    "However, North America’s 206.3 million searchers clocked up a mere 77.4 searches."

    I suspect it means 77.4 searches each, in which case, it is not that far below the global average and there aint no story.

  15. Micha Roon
    Dead Vulture


    americans work longer hours because they are less productive than us europeans. that's why they don't have time to surf the web in search for fun

    That's not from me but from the economist: (

    Sorry for the Pomys among you, the brits are less productive than the yanks.

  16. Cameron Colley
    Thumb Down

    Where's the Nirvana angle?

    Why is the title of a Nirvana album the first word of the article? Am I missing something?

  17. Mark McGuire


    Never thought I'd see a war bout this, but I guess Americans and the British have to fight over the "top dog" spot all the time. We're both the top countries in arrogence with our "our (country, culture, military, people, political system [insert one]) is better than yours" speaches every day of the week.

    How one draws a conclusion about national curiosity from two statistics is beyond me. What about the old ways of searching encyclopedia's or asking people that are knowledgable in the field of intrest. What about unique searches, ones that don't have similar keywords? If Europeans each had 30 searches about a topic, but couldn't find what they were looking for until the 30th search then the research on "curiosity is skewed". How was the data collected? Was it by ip? What if millions of students and employees are searching behind a proxy? Wouldn't that make it seem as if they were all one person?

    Honestly this debate is one of the stupider wars I've seen on The Register yet.

  18. Mike Moyle

    A few observations...

    "Latin America may have had only 50 million searchers, but they clocked up 95.7 searches each. The second most curious searchers were in Europe, with 209.7 million searchers who averaged 85.1 searches each. Asia Pacific’s 258 million searchers clocked up 78.7 searches each.

    "In the Middle East a rather low 30.6 million searches managed 69.8 searches each.

    "However, North America’s 206.3 million searchers clocked up a mere 77.4 searches."

    How did they get these statistics? Did they, for instance, count "separate IP addresses" as "users"/ I'm no statistician, but would static addresses like internet cafés, libraries, schools, etc., skew the "searchers" number and, hence, the number of searches per searcher? This might, potentially, explain the significantly higher number of average searches on the significantly smaller number of "individual users" in the Latin American results. (I don't know the per capita penetration of private home computers vs public terminals in Latin America.)

    Secondly, I note that the references seem to be to North America, not the U.S., per se. Do the original figures differentiate between U.S. and Canadian users? It may make no difference or it may make a significant one. No way of knowing without more information.

    Thirdly, NorthAm's "mere" 77.4 searches per searcher is a "mere" 1.3 less than the Asia Pacific number, and a "mere" 3.5 searches per month before the worldwide average. Are these really significant values?

    Fourthly, while the numbers, admittedly, show that North America rated belor Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific in searches, the order that the results are presented - Highest, lower, lower, lowest, one-up-from-lowest - could be argued as being slightly ambiguous and potentially subconscously misleading, since we are used to ranking from highest to lowest or lowest to highest in a straight line, rather than the "J-turn" that this listing took. Edward Tufte would probably give you a stern talking to about that, Mr. Fay!

    Finally, "Microsoft’s Live Search – just relaunched – clocked up 2.1 billion." Are yoe sure that wasn't originally "Microsoft’s Live Search... cocked up 2.1 billion."

  19. evil tom
    Dead Vulture

    Wait, does that count the Bible Belt?

    Hey, I'm sure if you discounted the Internet habits of the Talibangelists in the U.S.A., you'd find the remaining, oh, 45-50% of us on the coasts are fairly savvy.

    So before telling us that, "Wow, the rest of the world must be so lazy next to your burger chowing selves! Or is it just that America is a heartless wasteland of consumerism presided over by a retarded puppet?"

    ...just remember that many of us here understand that we live in a heartless wasteland of consumerism (not too different, though, from Soho in London, I might add) presided over by a retarded muppet (my edit).

    Of course, I'm not sure what that makes the UK. It's one thing to be ruled by a retarded muppet (and hate it, and try to resist it when possible), quite another to be ruled by that retarded muppet's handmaiden (ie Blair/Brown, or Sarkozy, etc).

  20. Greg

    @David Warren, John A Blackley

    Ding ding, we have a couple of winners on the show tonight, ladies and gentlemen!

    Geez, don't go reinforcing any stereotypes by rising to the mildest of trolling, will you?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Stupid american

    What did the European say to the American with a degree in Nuclear Physics and Mathematics....

    Stupid American !

  22. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up

    RE: Stupid american

    Q: "What did the European say to the American with a degree in Nuclear Physics and Mathematics...."

    A: Yes thanks, I would like fries with that.

  23. Daniel

    @The Other Steve and Meaningful Insults

    See, that goes to show just how little you really know about how this country really works. An American with a degree in Nuclear Physics and Mathematics CAN'T get a job at McDonald's or the equivalent; he'll be told he's overqualified. :)

    Now, that having been said, I'd like to throw my voice in behind those calling for a bit of rational civility here. Mainly, rationality. If you want to insult Americans, that's one thing, but please, do so on something that makes sense - our grammar, arrogance, imperialism, etc. This particular argument, however, is just pathetic - it's so obvious that you're grasping at any reason to hate Americans, ANY Americans, that it's funny in a sad sort of way.

    Finally, before I leave to more productive matters: why, oh why aren't basic statistics required to get a degree?


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Has Slash Dot brought El Reg?

    I'm a bit disappointed that El Reg should allow so many vitriolic posts. I'm amazed that a couple of statistics about search engine usage can devolve into such hate.

    El Reg moderators should be ashamed that they let such posts here, many of them by Anon users.

    If you have a viewpoint you feel strongly about, get a back bone and post with a name.

    About the article: Who cares about who searches more! It smacks of some meaningless statistic that a moron in middle management would use as some way of making themselves sound more important. Those of you that have seen Drop the Dead Donkey will know what I mean when I mention Guss.

    Tis a sad day when I wish for a post by amanfrommars to lighten things up a bit!

  25. gizmo


    I see we have moved from blaming George Bush to blaming the Entire North American continent for all the worlds troubles.

    I guess this is progress, but can we just skip to the end and blame the entire human race.

    This kind of blind hatred scares me a whole lot more than any friggin global warming...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't the reason obvious?

    Unlike you ill informed Europeans, we already know everything and thus have little use for silly things like "search" ; )

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It said NORTH Americans

    I blame it on Canada. I'm sure they're dragging the results down !! ; )

    Still, interesting to see how quickly "the reg" turned a completely irrelevant statistic into a U.S. bashing story. I guess that's life at the top. Everyone's always taking shots!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No story here

    Sorry to ruin everyone's fun here in bashing the yanks.

    If you take the data given you find that its nearly perfectly normally distributed (for the mathematically inclined the goodness of fit is 86% using the shapiro-wilks test)

    These figures are exactly what you would expect to see when everything is as it should be and as a result you can say that no group is significantly below the others

    So from a statistical standpoint we're all doing pretty much the same amount of searching

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    One also assumes that the average SOL (Schlep OnLine) prizes the web over all other net services. Does the survey really include all Archie users? And don't forget gopher and Veronica.

    That said, why would anyone search the web at all? Heck, if you can't form a decent advanced search on the web you might as well try to take a sip from a fire hose. If you can form a good search the chances are you will only make one if any at all. Finally, consider the web has come to resemble satellite TV, sure, there are FFFFFFFF addresses on the IPV4 but there is nothing worth watching in the entire world.

  30. kain preacher

    North america

    Dont forget Mexico is in North America

  31. Guy

    RE North America

    Shouldn't that read Mexicans are in North America, I am sure the border patrols would have something to say about the original post

  32. StillNoCouch

    Wit, intelligence or Bush Bashing ?

    I would have expected comments to be far more intelligent that many of those appearing above.

    Lest we forget whom saved whom's "arse" after having handed it to them only shortly before ...

    " I'm just sayin' "

  33. Anonymous Coward

    They're busy inventing stuff

    Perhaps you didn't notice, but Americans invented the internet and all 3 search engines mentioned in the article are American companies. Maybe Americans are all busy inventing the next big things while the rest of us are just having fun figuring out how to use their current kit!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Surprising

    The first uptakers of internet access are going to be the heaviest users. As the size of the internet connected population increases, so does the number of lighter users, thus lowering the average of measures such as web searches per user. All this investigation shows is that there is a higher proportion of Americans on line.

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