Google Usage in Europe

Google basically *is* the Internet for people in Europe, particularly France. Recently, I was in France conducting some web usability testing and we made it a point to have Internet Explorer and Fire Fox open to a blank page. Several people were nearly unable to begin a browsing session without the familiar search engine. In fact, several people were simply unable to type any URL at all,lacking all sense of correct URL syntax.

Some attribute this to the fact that Internet usage in France took off at or around the time Google assumed its place as victor of the Search Engine Wars. Lastly, and I do not know why, Google's Ad Sense ads were nowhere to be found. It was odd yet definitely nice to see screens resulting in a lot less clutter.