According to a report by the BBC on research by Jakob Nielsen, the leading light in research into online habits, surfers have become selfish, impatient, and increasingly sceptical of advertising and promotions. We have essentially streamlined our surfing and information gathering processes and have learned to ignore the ploys that websites use to persuade us to linger longer on a website.
Approximately 75% of us achieve what we set out to do when we first open our browser, a figure which has increased from 60% in 1999. While this is partially down to better website and software design, it is largely because we are more understanding of the way the Internet in general, and websites work. As such we can quickly find the site we want, complete the desired action, and leave again.
Nielsen also stated that we still regularly fail to find what we are looking for using search engines, even using Google. He hypothesises that any site wanting to be more successful than Google simply has to make the search process a more successful one.
Search engines have become more sophisticated, more intelligent if you like, in the way that they collect and index data but it can still take several searches to find the actual information needed. As we continue to evolve into Internet gurus this is also likely to improve, though, because we will learn how to manipulate the search engine indexes to our own ends when conducting any search.