Sniffing out the ‘real consumer’ behind the screen


Internet users are all hidden behind their screens and the only thing we can get is their IP address, MAC address and ISP,etc.
How did ComScore, Hitwise and the like determine the gender and age groups of Internet users,etc?

I was reading Digital Life and you know they always have a section on the top searches from Yahoo and Google for October 25th to 31st.

Google
1. Paul the Octopus
2. Shin Se Kyung – South Korean actress
3. iPhone 5 – Speculated rumour

Yahoo!
1. Selina Jen (S.H.E)
2. SGX
3. Singapore Cabinet reshuffle

Why would Digital Life post something like this in their weekly issue? What can these searches tell us?

Few things I am thinking:
1. These top searches tell us what the “world” is searching for and knowing what is currently on the hot seat?

2. Yahoo! and Google searches, are they from Singapore? I presume so.

3. After looking at these searches, I immediately associate the younger Singaporean population with Google and the older ones to Yahoo! because SGX and Singapore Cabinet reshuffle seem to be more of an interest to the older population though it might not be true.

4. I searched the demographics of the Internet users using Google and Yahoo!, I was told
that Yahoo! has the younger population of Internet users. (This data might be confined to U.S) [See source 1 below]

Sources:

1. http://weblogs.hitwise.com/us-heather-hopkins/2008/02/yahoo_search_draws_younger_aud.html

2. http://www.larrylim.net/singapore-internet-usage-statistics.htm

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