More Americans are Googling themselves, friends and dates. A Pew study found that 47% of US adult Internet users have looked up themselves using the search engine, compared with 22% in 2002. The study found 53% Googled neighbors, colleagues, or dates—often checking bankruptcy and divorce proceedings, and other public records. Women are slightly more likely to Google dates than men.
The results are lower than expected. "There's a big chunk of Internet users who have never done this simple act of plugging their name into search engines," said one researcher. "Certainly awareness has increased, but I don't know that it has necessarily kept pace with the amount of content we post about ourselves."