A study of the Pew Internet & American Life Project just tells us in a new study that about 40 million surfers go online, just in the U.S., without a specific purpose or objective. This number is up from 25 million by the end of 2004. Just ‘hanging out on the web” is just as popular as navigating to news pages. The most popular online activity is still to check email.
Why are people appearing to surf the web without direction? One explanation could be the drastic increase in available content. The number of websites increased from 17 million to 65 million within the last 5 years.
The more widespread availability of broadband connectivity is another contributing factor.
Surfing the web becomes a much more enjoyable activity if the download times are negligible
This trend obviously poses new challenges for marketers. If web surfers are moving around with less direction and purpose, how do you turn them into meaningful and relevant traffic?
This crowd will definitely follow other patterns and behaviors and will require marketers to adjust their models and forecasts.
This might lead into a sharper distinction between “good traffic” and “bad traffic”. How is this huge cosmic cloud affecting conversion rates?
Definitely something to keep an eye on…