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I'm late to the party, but results from the NextSearchSurvey, an online survey of search engine users about the current state of search and its future direction are available here. The survey was conducted from August, 2004 through November, 2004. Questions were answered by 2500 to 3000 respondents. Drawing inferences from the channels that pushed the survey (bloggers) and the some of the results€"number of daily searches conducted, for example€"participants were an experienced bunch.

Generally the findings showed that the audience felt the quality of the search experience and results were good and Google was the preferred engine. Slide 18 reflects a split among respondents regarding local search. The majority of respondents thought that local search should be "included" and/or "improve[d] on." The next hightest category of respondents had "no opinion" (suggesting indifference).

Another interesting finding (assuming I'm correct about the experience levels of respondents) is that 40 percent said they "occasionally" click on paid search ads. comScore and others have reported data that more sophisticated/experienced search engine users tend not to click on such ads (or at least with any frequency). This would be a contrary finding.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents were from the U.S. and 79 percent were male.

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