Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« The Morning News | Palin Comparison »

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Are You Searching For?

posted by on September 18 at 8:04 AM

Not so much porn, says a web expert.

Porn passed over as Web users become social

Bill Tancer, a self-described “data geek,” has analyzed information for over 10 million web users to conclude that we are, in fact, what we click, with Internet searches giving an up-to-date view of how society and people are changing…. Tancer, in his new book, “Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters,” said analyzing web searches did not just reflect what was happening online but gave a wider picture of society and people’s behavior….

He said surfing for porn had dropped to about 10 percent of searches from 20 percent a decade ago, and the hottest Internet searches now are for social networking sites.

“As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased,” said Tancer, indicated that the 18-24 year old age group particularly was searching less for porn.

There is, however, a great deal of porn available through social-networking websites, much it made by and for the 18-24 year-old age group. XTube, with its communities and networks of friends, may qualify as a social-networking site. But if Tancer is analyzing web searches to determine what people are looking for, and discovered that porn searches are down, does that really prove that people are “consuming” less online porn?


Does it prove that most of us have found the porn we were looking for, thanks, bookmarked our favorite websites, and don’t need to do web searches for porn anymore?

RSS icon Comments


friends don't watch friends whack off

Posted by xtube = ew | September 18, 2008 8:11 AM

it's = it is

Man sentenced for A shooting that paralyzed victim.

Posted by chicagogaydude | September 18, 2008 8:12 AM

@1: yes we do.

Posted by konstantconsumer | September 18, 2008 8:13 AM

It means we've moved on from searching for masturbation material to searching for hookups with other human beings. Check out the growth in Craigslist's "casual encounters" section.

Posted by Banna | September 18, 2008 8:13 AM

You must be the porn you want to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by elenchos | September 18, 2008 8:24 AM

Agree with Dan. People don't need to search for porn anymore, they just know where to go. Even if you're looking for a very specific type of porn, there are sites that list hundreds of different categories of porn ( comes to mind).

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 18, 2008 8:57 AM

@5: So was Ghandi advocating narcissism?

Posted by raindrop | September 18, 2008 9:28 AM

You mean you actually have to search for porn.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | September 18, 2008 10:08 AM

Working in a gay porn store for seven years, I can tell my interest has waned. Don't get me wrong ... I love porn & it's broaden my sexual horizons beyond the narrow scope I had many years ago.

When you've seen every type of (legal) porn out there, it's pretty dull.

I have been searching the social networking sites more to connect w/ people w/ similar interests in me in a more cerebral level.

Posted by Al | September 18, 2008 10:12 AM

I haven't read that book, but based on the article quotes, that guy sounds like a horrible analyst. The percent of searches changing is NOT the same as the total number of searches changing. You can't say "it was 20% then and 10% now, so therefore there's less searches". If, hypothetically, there are ten times more searches overall now, then that's still more porn searches, they just make up a smaller overall proportion.

A PERCENT change could easily have to do with Internet demographics changing. It could just be that there are now a lot of teen and tween girls on myspace, and very few of them are searching for porn.

Posted by scott | September 18, 2008 10:20 AM

Every one knows what Google does with the search data...

Posted by John Bailo | September 18, 2008 10:21 AM

@1 haha not bad.

Posted by anthony | September 18, 2008 10:22 AM

@5 - is that another plug for HUMP submissions?!

Posted by amy! | September 18, 2008 10:29 AM

I'm too depressed to whack off these days.

Posted by and I can't get drunk off a JPG | September 18, 2008 10:34 AM

The 18-24 year olds aren't searching for porn because they're too busy making it.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | September 18, 2008 11:11 AM

I have used the internet for porn since 1986 (i.e. since before the "web" existed). In that time I have used a search engine to find porn at most two times. I have always been leery of giving Google (and its ancestors) information about my pervy desires.

Despite never using a search engine to find porn between 10-50% of my internet time is spent on porn. This basically varies depending on how much time I spend online, the time I spend on porn stays constant for the most part.

This is my way of saying his methodology is flawed.

Posted by Jim | September 18, 2008 12:49 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.