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Search Overtakes Porn In The UK

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It is yet determined if patterns in the UK are mirrored in the US, but Hitwise is looking into it for us. Heather Hopkins’ “lofty” look into the future of the Internet revealed that, in the UK, vice online is on the decline, while search, social media, and more utilitarian Internet activities are on the rise.

Though porn and gambling have had, traditionally, the most prolific early adopting peddlers and users, visits to these types of sites are declining by a good clip among Britons. The same goes for music sites.

In the UK:

Visits to adult websites are down 20%

Visits to gambling sites are down 11%

Visits to music sites are down 18%

Hopkins is quick to note that interest in adult content and music has not declined, but has just been redirected to p2p sites. It may also be important to note the recent crackdown in the US on gambling sites may have had a direct impact.

In terms of what is growing, social media is outpacing the rest, but search engines have done the unthinkable: surpassed the almighty porn industry.

By the numbers:

Communities and Chat sites are up 34%

Food and Beverage are up 29%

News and Media sites are up 24%

Search Engines are up 22%

Education, because of Wikipedia, is up 18%

Business and Finance are up 12%

In December, Google, all by itself, accounted for 25 percent of upstream visits to all categories, leaving 10 percent for the other search engines combined. The closest referral site was Hotmail, accounting for just three percent of all UK Internet visits.

“I believe that clickstream data is a better indicator or future behaviour, whilst visits are a backward looking metric,” writes Hopkins. “Search is not going away and networks will be increasingly important.”

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Search Overtakes Porn In The UK
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