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About.com study identifies three kinds of search behavior

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New York—There are three kinds of search behavior—“answer me,” “educate me” and “inspire me”—according to a new study, “Three Mindsets of Search,” conducted by the New York Times Co.'s About.com. “Answer me” searches accounted for 46% of all searches, according to the study. People searching in this mode want exactly what they ask for and nothing more, and typically search in the entertainment, fashion and beauty categories. “Educate me” searches accounted for 26% of all searches. People searching in this category want multiple perspectives on a topic. The top categories for this kind of search were health and finance. “Inspire me” searches accounted for 28% of all searches. People in this mode are browsing, and the top categories in this mode were travel and home and garden. The study also found that ads can be relevant to search. Almost 90% of respondents “enjoy when brands stop trying to sell you something and focus on teaching you something.” The online study, which was conducted between March and June of this year, surveyed 928 Americans, age 21 to 54 with household incomes of $50,000 or higher. The study is available by contacting Kristin Mason at kmason@about.com.
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