Digital Divide: Youngsters Use Yahoo!; Google: Rich People’s Choice

It’s interesting to find out that social statistics can be tied into search engine usage. A Hitwise study shows that Yahoo! draws the younger audience while Google is preferred by affluent Internet users.

Young people don’t have money until they grow up and have jobs. And that’s when they might start realizing Google’s quality of search results and switch usage to the search giant. But why do youngsters start with Yahoo? Is it because the Yahoo.com contains more features (Groups, Mail, Messenger or Answers) that appeal to younger generation?

Since search remains the ubiquitous feature on every Yahoo! page, it is convenient to use it instead of going elsewhere, no matter how good quality results may be. And if Yahoo! Search itself works well, there’s no point not to use it. And that’s why Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo?

The figure summarizes the audience strengths and weaknesses for the two search engines. Visits by MOSAIC Group to Search.Yahoo.com are plotted on the y-axis and to Google.com on the x-axis. For example, the top left hand box indicates unique strengths for Yahoo! Search, in that they are groups that are over-indexed relative to the online population on Yahoo! Search but under-indexed on Google.com. The bigger the bubble the higher the propensity to have spent $500 online (based on offline data collected by Experian).

Yahoo: Youngsters’ Search Engine; Google: Rich People’s Choice
Image courtesy of Hitwise.