An interesting story on the BBC site says there's yet another search facility starting up, following the launch of Bing, Wolfram Alpha and Google wave. This one's called Splashtop and the idea is that you can be searching the Net withing seconds of switching on.

In other words, it's a bit faster than it was before so you can save half a second it takes to open your browser. Woo-hoo.

The interesting thing in the BBC report for me, though, isn't the saving of half a second a day - I didn't realise I had a problem so forgive me if I don't punch the air when someone solves it. No, it's the idea that people search for things all the time, even when they know the address. It's true. I once tried to start a business (short-lived, I won't bore you with the details). I'd called it Horse's Mouth and reserved horsesmouth.co.uk - now, there was another Horse's Mouth so it died very quickly but the interesting thing was that one of my friends said she couldn't find my website. I told her the address and she claimed she still couldn't find the website. It turned out that no matter what I'd told her, she would enter the phrase 'horse's mouth' not into the address bar but into the search box. It honestly hadn't occurred to her that you could do otherwise.

This was a sophisticated woman, as is another I know who has - wait for it - been known to need to look something up on Google while she's on another site, and she does it by searching for 'google.co.uk' in the browser's search box and only then using the Google site, once it's been found by, er, Google.

At first it seemed crazy to me. I read the BBC news a lot and it wouldn't occur to me not to put news.bbc.co.uk straight into my address bar. But I wonder, does my experience suggest that's a fading trend?

It does seem to suggest that anyone whose website isn't fully SEO'd to the hilt needs to look at it very, very quickly indeed.

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