'Are the public at large really so thick that they cannot handle a simple URL?' Yes, absolutely. A colleague of mine routinely enters 'mybt.bt' into the Google Toolbar and clicks the result for mybt.bt.com rather than entering 'mybt.bt.com' into the address bar. He does the same thing for all other websites that he knows the URI for. I've also seen him try to Google for the intranet-only web application BASOL, fully expecting to be brought to the right place.
50% of the time I get my customers typing my address into google search rather than the address bar, some even do it when I say 'see the http bit at the top, delete everything in there and type in .....'
I see plenty of people doing this. They've been so brainwashed into believing "Internet = Google" that they probably don't even realise that the URL bar is there.
According to Google Analytics, the second most common search term for my blog is its URL.
Alas it's common... people start typing where the cursor is, and that's the google or MSN homepage.There's a hillarious story of that happened when a random blog ended up as the first result for 'facebook'. http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_wants_to_be_your_one_true_login.phpDo 'sort by oldest', then abandon any hope you have for the future of humanity.
I know someone who types URL's into google dispite me trying to teach what an address bar is multiple times.
I think this is why IE9 has merged the address bar and search bar together: you type something in, then it will figure out what you're trying to do. However, since I know what I'm doing, I find it really annoying.
I analyse log-files for a living it is very very common. And to be honest it can be a good strategy, if I can't remember if the URL is autotrader.com or atotrader.co.uk or maybe auto-trader, etc then using Google as a DNS will save me landing on the site of a domain squatting spammer if I guess wrong.
It annoys me to see somebody typing 'easyjet.com' into their search bar, but I suppose, if it works for them...Raymond Chen summed it up quite nicely:http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2006/11/27/1160055.aspx"You computer types are always talking about how computers are so easy to use, and then you make up these arbitrary rules about where I'm supposed to type things. If I want something, I type into this box and click 'Search'. And it finds it. Watch. I want Yahoo, so I type 'yahoo' into the box, and boom, there it is. I have a system that works. Why are you trying to make my life more confusing?"