Shimon Sandler

Search Engine Usage by Age Groups

This type of information is very useful when allocating budgets, search engine selection, and the targeting components within your Search Engine Marketing plan.

Forrester Research ( subscription required) analyzed data from almost 47,000 US households. Some findings: Mass-affluent 25- to 39-year-olds prefer Google, and affluent 70+ year-olds are the most frequent AOL visitors.

To determine affuence segments, Forrester examined consumer’s investable assets — excluding any assets held in retirement accounts. Using this information, they divided consumers into three segments: Mainstream (less than $100,000), mass-affluent ($100,000 to $1 million), and affluent (more than $1 million).

Excerpt from study:

25- to 39-year-olds prefer Google, not AOL. Mass-affluent 25- to 39-year-olds are more likely to visit Google (20% above the average for Google across all segments), MSN (17% above the MSN average), and Yahoo! (16% above the Yahoo average) than other search portals. This group of young mass-affluent consumers also turns out to be the segment least avid about AOL (20% below the AOL average).

40- to 54-year-olds prefer Netscape. Mass-affluent 40- to 54-year-old consumers are significantly more likely to visit Netscape (25% above the Netscape average across all segments) and Google (16% above the Google average).

55- to 69-year-olds prefer Netscape, not MSN. The percentage of mass-affluent 55- to 69-year-olds who visit Netscape is 50% higher than the Netscape average across all segments. At the other end of the spectrum, the portion of this group that visits MSN is 19% below the MSN average across all segments.

70+ year-olds prefer AOL but none of the others. Mass-affluent 70+ year-olds only visit one portal at an above-average rate: AOL (19% above the AOL average). This older segment has a significantly below-average percentage of consumers visiting the other sites — bottoming out with MSN (52% below the MSN average).

Here is the breakdown in more detail:
age groups

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  1. Shim,

    Any stats by gender? Particularly women?

  2. Interesting question Derrick. I haven’t seen any, but if I do, I’ll be sure to follow up.

  3. For info on How Gender Affects Search, check out:

    I don’t know if you saw Forrester’s recent study on how your generation effects how you find a website, but it’s a good complimentary read to this post.:

    How Consumers Find Web Sites In 2006. Generations’ Media Habits Shape Their Site-Finding Behavior:,7211,40395,00.html

  4. wow, i would love to get some up to date information on Search Engine Usage by Age Groups , will keep looking

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