SEX and pornography have been trounced by business and e-commerce as the most popular internet search topics, new research shows.
Once upon a time, in the mid '90s, sex accounted for 17 per cent of web searches, but that figure has shrunk to 3.8 per cent, Queensland University of Technology's Professor Amanda Spinks said yesterday.
But Professor Spinks said business and commerce-related topics, including buying and selling, had outstripped sex to make up 30 per cent of web searches.
Her research, in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University, analysed up to 30 million search sessions from various search engines.
After business and e-commerce came people, travel, places, computers and the internet, health, education, then entertainment, the study found.
The research focused predominantly on web searching in the US and Europe.
Professor Spinks said there were multiple reasons behind the fall of sex-related topics from the top spot.
"It could be the favourites are bookmarked," Professor Spinks said. "More women are searching the web. Back in the '90s, it was probably young male geeks."