What do Australians commonly search for online? According to a survey by ninemsn, Aussies like searching for themselves, their ex-partners and celebrity scandals.
The survey, released in conjunction with the re-launch of the new MSN Search engine, asked more than 1,500 online Australians about how they use Internet search.
According to Dominic Finnegan, ninemsn director of consumer services, 10 million Australians are actively using an Internet connection from home or work. Around 7 million of these are using search engines as the first port of call when they need to find something out.
When it comes to who Australians are looking for, the number one name Australians type into search engines is their own, with 47 percent of people indicating that they searched for themselves versus 39 percent in the same study of Americans.
The survey also showed that nearly 16 percent of Australian Internet users admitted to searching for their former partners, letting their curiosity get the better of them. This equates to 1.8 million people who have used a search engine to find out about an old flame.
Australians also appear to be celebrity mad, with 39 percent of people having carried out a search on celebrity news or scandal.
"When it comes to celebrities, the top three search hits were Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Delta Goodrem. It seems the celebrities we're searching for aren't always the ones we aspire to be, but people who have captured our attention for other reasons," said Finnegan.
The most popular search categories are entertainment and travel with 84 percent, followed by breaking news (74 percent), jobs (69 percent), weather (66 percent) and personal health (65 percent).
When it comes to personal health, women are the keenest health watchers, with 73 percent of women saying they have searched for personal health information online, versus 55 percent of men.
Baby boomers are the most concerned with their personal health, with almost three quarters of Internet users in this age group saying they use search engines to find out medical information.
"The Internet doesn't replace seeing your doctor, but it is a quick and easy way to find more information about a condition you, a friend or a family member has been diagnosed with or to check out your symptoms before seeking medical advice," said Finnegan.
However, for those who haven't found what they are looking for online, the survey said that only 11 percent of Australians say they "always" find what they're searching for first time. Another 21 percent said they only "sometimes", "rarely" or "never" find what they want to find on the first go.
ninemsn relaunched its msn search engine this week, with the new Direct Answers feature linked from Microsoft Encarta.