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Not Really A Shocker: Kids Not Skilled Searchers

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According to a recent study, children are among the fastest growing groups of Internet users, with 20% of children as young as 3 or 4 years old now browsing the Web.

In fact, the study states, US households with children are more likely to have Internet access than those without children. This growth has a number of implications for secure browsing, for Internet marketing, and for the creation of kid-friendly search engines.

Though kiddie portals like Yahooligans! And Ask Jeeves Kids are great steps in the right direction, the authors of the study from the University of Maryland say problems still remain for kids as it is assumed that children can spell, type, read, navigate, and compose queries. As kid search engines evolve, they’ll need to take these things into account.

Children are found to be more successful with guided search with category browsing or picture browsing rather than keyword searching, as they have a “natural tendency to explore;” tend not to plan out their queries in advance, and have the aforementioned language-related difficulties.

Further, if children can form queries, they tend to do so with more natural full sentence queries. Ask Jeeves Kids provides a streaming example of what kids are asking at the moment, like “why do bats sleep upside down?”

Not Really A Shocker: Kids Not Skilled Searchers
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