This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.
In honor of the first full week of the new year, it seems the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2009. Just as with our year-end Zeitgeist in early December, it's always fascinating to glimpse the collective consciousness of Google users. Beyond search queries rising for Michael Jackson, swine flu, Twitter and Lady Gaga, what else did Google searches reveal last year?
Proportion of Google users in the United States making more than one query per day:
7 out of 10
Proportion of Google users in the United States making more than 10 queries per day:
1 out of 7
Fraction of Google queries, duplicates excluded, never seen before: More than 1/3
Fraction of Google queries, duplicates included, never seen before: More than 1/5
Country with the greatest increase in Google web search traffic in 2009 vs. 2008: Indonesia*
Approximate percentage of Internet users in Indonesia: 11.1%*
Average amount of time it takes a user to finish entering a query: 9 seconds
Average amount of time it takes Google to answer a query: Less than 1/4 second
Number of search quality improvements made by Google in 2009: 540, ~1.5 each day
Proportion of Google result pages that show a map in search results: 1 in 13
Average increase in driving distance on weekends vs. weekdays on Google Maps: 11km
Median distance from a user's location to ice skating rinks found on Google Maps: 30km
Median distance from a user's location to ski resorts found on Google Maps: 300km
Unless otherwise noted, most of these statistics are based on our U.S. weekday traffic. We hope you enjoyed this week — and year — in search, and we're looking forward to an exciting 2010!