Brits consult Internet 30 times a week for advice, claims survey


The average Brit will consult the internet 30 times a week for things like cooking advice, TV show queries and DIY tricks.

A study of 2,000 UK adults revealed how often the typical person turns to an online search engine or a smart speaker for help – with one in 20 claiming to use it more than 100 times in an average week.

City locations, shop opening hours and how to fix a broken appliance appeared among the most popular things for Brits to search. How to make bread, good TV shows to watch and how to unblock a drain also featured in the top 50, along with how to take a meter reading, how to fix a boiler, historical trivia and customer service phone numbers.

The study, commissioned by British Gas, also revealed that during lockdown, a third of those polled have used the internet for help more than they used to.

But thanks to the availability of online advice, nearly half believe they have become more self-sufficient in recent weeks.

For 46 per cent, they were left feeling rewarded after discovering how much they can get done without relying on others or seeking professional assistance, while three in 10 said it has saved them money.

Sunny Solanky, a British Gas service and repair engineer, said: “People are becoming a lot more independent having spent weeks in lockdown.

“It’s great to see that people are using the advice available online to help with more basic DIY issues and to minimise the need for home visits while social distancing measures are in place.

“There are some problems that really do need an engineer though, so we are here to help when needed, and have fixed more than 150,000 boilers since lockdown began.

One in three empowered Brits are now more likely to turn to Google or ask a device for assistance in future, before reaching out to the pros – with one in five doing so to solve problems in the home, and 23 per cent trying their hand at more DIY.

In fact, millions have already had a go at decorating a wall, putting up pictures, fixing dripping taps and leaks, and applying new sealant to bathrooms and kitchens – all with the help of Google.

And more than half of those polled, via OnePoll, have managed to fix something while stuck at home during lockdown, without the help of a professional.

Almost six in 10 respondents use the internet or their smart devices for help because they provide a quick solution, while 28 per cent say being able to quickly search for something via Siri, Alexa or another gadget has helped settle an argument.

Google is the most common place to look for answers, used by eight in 10 adults, with 22 per cent asking their Alexa smart speaker.

Top 50 things Brits will ‘Google’:

  1. What are the opening hours of a shop or similar?
  2. The latest news stories
  3. Who sang a particular song
  4. Who starred in a particular film
  5. Dates in history
  6. A customer service phone number
  7. How old a celebrity is
  8. How to find discounts/voucher codes
  9. Self-diagnosis for an ailment
  10. Where certain cities are
  11. Facts about a celebrity such as where they live, how tall they are etc.
  12. Where certain countries are
  13. How to care for certain plants
  14. Good films to watch
  15. Good TV shows to watch
  16. Good books to read
  17. How to fix a broken appliance
  18. How to identify different birds
  19. Where to buy certain clothes
  20. The answer to a pub quiz question
  21. How to get a refund for something
  22. What are the current social distancing/lockdown restrictions?
  23. Things to do at home
  24. Who different members of the government are and their roles
  25. How to find home workouts
  26. How to make bread
  27. How to get vitamin D
  28. Where different animals live
  29. How to cut hair
  30. How to clear my phone’s storage
  31. How to update my phone
  32. How to bake banana bread
  33. How to make cocktails
  34. How to make pizza dough
  35. How to make scones
  36. How to make a face mask
  37. How to unblock a drain
  38. Answers for children’s homework
  39. How to fix a dripping tap
  40. How to make a face mask
  41. How to bleed a radiator
  42. How to do yoga
  43. How to fix a leak
  44. How to fix a boiler
  45. How to set up a video call
  46. How to do a meter reading
  47. How to set up an email address
  48. How to put up a shelf
  49. How to fit carpet/flooring
  50. How to knit
Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to