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Sex Finally Losing Its Appeal On Net

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 721 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... SEX LOSES NET APPEAL BBC Tuesday, 2 April, 2002
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2002
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      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 721
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.


      Tuesday, 2 April, 2002


      Sex is finally losing its appeal on the net according to researchers in

      Interest in sex and entertainment had been replaced by more serious surfing,
      a study of 200,000 users conducted by Penn State University's School of
      Information Technology has found.

      The research, conducted over five years, found that in 1997 approximately
      one in six web queries to search engine Excite was about sex.

      By 2001 only one in 12 surfers was searching for sex and many of these
      enquiries were about human sexuality rather than pornography.

      Commerce beats sex

      During the same period, searches related to commerce, travel and employment
      rose from 13.3% in 1997 to 24.7% in 2001.

      Researchers note that the increased interest in commerce and travel
      coincided with an 80% increase in commercial content on web servers by 1999.

      The study also found that surfers are becoming less patient with trawling
      the web.

      In 1997, people were willing to look harder for the information they wanted
      - with fewer than 30% of Excite users examining only one page of results per

      Impatient surfers

      By 2001, the percentage of single-page searches had risen to more than 50%.
      A frustrated 70% would not go beyond two pages of results.

      "Our results indicate that a significant percentage of users continue to
      have low tolerance for wading through large retrievals," said Amanda Spink,
      who led the research project.

      "Many people tend to take the first thing they get, no matter what the

      "From other studies, we see that users jump on and off the web search
      engines in little spurts, many times on the same topic," she added.

      The waning popularity of porn is borne out by other net measurement firms.
      According to JupiterMMXI, porn is not even in the top 10 websites.

      Instead, portals like MSN, ticket booking services and corporate sites are
      the most visited sites on the net.

      Novelty wearing off

      Some analysts believe that searching for porn has decreased simply because
      there is no need to look for it these days.

      The number of spam e-mails inviting people to pornographic websites has
      increased phenomenally in recent years.

      Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Watch believes the Penn State University
      study is flawed because it looks at just one search engine.

      "Excite has undergone significant change since 1997 and has diminished in
      terms of popularity. It could be that on other search engines sex is still
      popular," he said.

      It could also be simply a case of the novelty wearing off, said one analyst
      who declined to be named.

      "Once people finally stopped looking up the rude words in the first ever
      dictionary, they actually used it for proper reasons, like Scrabble and
      trying to spell difficult words like Sequoia," he said.


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