Search Engine Usage in North America by Enquiro. (April 2004)
Google Gains Overall, Competition Builds Niches by Clickz Network(June 2004)
Search Marketing Benchmark Guide 2005-2006 by Marketing Sherpa (September 2005)
The first study has an interesting conclusion on SE usage and age:
We expected to see a trend in search engine usage according to age, but this wasn’t the case. High usage of Google was relatively consistent (at about 70%) and showed no specific trends. (Hotchkiss, Garrison, and Jensen, p 53.)However, I notice that only 4.4% of the 425 participants sampled were under 20 (p23). This is a very small sample. I'm not an expert in statistics, but 18.7 youngsters doesn't seem like a statistically significant sample, at least not enough refute my hypothesis. Although, it does cast a hint of doubt. Does this work for a larger sample?
The second article, on Google Gains, is interesting because it claims that Yahoo has the largest share of the young audience: 48.23% vs. Google's 43.57% for users 18-34. This isn't that surprising, because this group really came onto the Internet at a time when Yahoo was a dominant player. This doesn't isolate the college group (18-22), the "Google Generation" from the pre-Google generation. In short, it doesn't really provide enough data to address the issue.
The last report could prove illuminating if someone has a copy. I would be interested in hearing what it has to say.
To my knowledge no one has studied, or at least not made public, a detailed look at search engine usage, loyalty, etc.. inthe younger generation: 13-23. If they did perhaps we could really validate whether or not this group really is the "Google Generation."