Did you ever wonder, in the midst of planning your search engine optimization efforts or keywork marketing campaign, what motivated searchers to go to Google and search in the first place?

I mean when we stop and think about it, we know they don’t just wake up in the morning, and think “my god, I need to go find a charity that works on global warming.” (And if you do do that, well you’re just odd.)

More and more, the thing that gets your visitors to Google to start with is something they encounter in the non-Internet world — a news item in the paper or on NPR; a comment by a friend; a piece of direct mail; or something they saw in a store (like that HOT new Ipod Touch).

Here’s a bit of research that puts numbers behind the trend — offline prompts leading to online searches are growing growing growing.