The most popular online activities are search and email remain and are nearly universal among adult internet users, as 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and a similar number (92%) use email. Since the Pew Internet Project began measuring adults’ online activities in the last decade, these two behaviors have consistently ranked as the most popular, even as new platforms, broadband and mobile devices continue to reshape the way Americans use the internet and web. Even as early as 2002, more than eight in ten online adults were using search engines, and more than nine in ten online adults were emailing.
Perhaps the most significant change over that time is that both activities have become more habitual. Today, roughly six in ten online adults engage in each of these activities on a typical day; in 2002, 49% of online adults used email each day, while just 29% used a search engine daily.